mardi 26 novembre 2013

The Selfie and the plain old slog.

Now that Selfie is no longer a neologism and takes its place in the O.E.D. as word of the year I can tip my hat to it. It is an old hat though: the selfie has always been with us. The apps which now facilitate an airbrushed view of ourselves are quick to apply and having made ourselves more presentable but never less, we can bask in the assumption that we were never so beautiful. Never so desirable. Manicured and manipulated, you will recognise the altered state in countless self portraits and I imagine that we aim to flatter ourselves one way or another.

When I go into my shed to make a self portrait I have no idea of the outcome or how long it will take or how many times it will be repainted or redrawn or how successfully I will make the image. It will be based on me of course but it will be more about the drawing or the act of painting than about me for I still don't know how it is that the me changes so much during the time spent working. So much happens in that time. It must affect the image that is made - whereas the photo selfie captures an instant the drawing is a slog which has now taken more than fifty years. It's a journey isn't it, one step at a time.

Here's my shed.

and a couple of selfies.

jeudi 7 novembre 2013

Parochial ambitions.

I have a narrow outlook: the space I look at is bounded by a limited opening. I think that I read widely, politics, history, art and literary criticism : I love a good read and often do that when in my shed for the purpose of painting. I like diverse views. My painting though is narrowing its focus. That can be a good thing and it is why I like to draw and paint  my head and my garden. Zadie Smith said that she thought writing wasn't about being experimental but rather about finding something true and I think that that can be applied equally to painting.

I have made one large painting over the last months and several small ones. In between times I try to work on my head but the image that I carry within it keeps shifting. In no particular order then are some of the garden paintings.


                                     160 x 120cm