lundi 29 juin 2015

Listen with Mother.

The painting of a landscape is a story and the telling of it is in the organisation of the spaces on the surface and the marks across that surface.

The European model seems to have been for the most part, that of an object, a kind of still life, save for those who thought of it as an emotion, a conveyance of mood. I can't tell how many painters have made the surface that they have observed become that which they have felt: that in the act of painting they have made a new thing, a new land that supports reflection, sets up a conversation and brings with it the excitement of glimpsed possibilities.

Long, long ago, the BBC aired a weekly radio programme  for young children called, Listen with Mother and in the introduction the narrator would always ask the listeners. "Are you sitting comfortably?" " Then I'll begin"

Toward the boundary. oil on canvas 160x120cms

garden. oil on canvas.160x120cms

garden. oil on canvas. 100x80cms

I received a very kind note today from California and as a result found two new sites of interest. TerrystJohn and Tom Maderos. The sort of painting that makes me exclaim OH YES!

dimanche 21 juin 2015

Following on and what painting might be used for.

Painting is personal: I can imagine life without it as a daily activity, either practising it or reflecting upon it but it is not something that I want to happen. I don't want to give up on it, not yet. It is the practice which motivates me ; which poses each day some new challenge; which moves to ask what and how. It   doesn't matter too much if it is something engaged with entirely in private and though it would be disingenuous to claim uninterest in other peoples interest, it is never the less a fact that for me it is a conversation with oneself and when that conversation becomes uncomfortable and a modicum of talent becomes almost unbearable, one can only try harder, because in the end that is all that can be done other than to stop, play chess or drink. I am not ready for that, not today, not yet.

 Because I see the paining as a place where my thinking is made visible, where also marks become emotive, where the passage of time and the course of debate are made  manifest and I like the accretion
 of marks made over time, bearing witness to my thinking about painting, which is why I often paint over a previous piece and use it to develop a new one. The surface builds and is cut back, is reworked and adjusted : the passages discarded are reflective of the ways I might have thought, positions taken but not held now. But the history is there and without that history I do not know who I might be.

vendredi 19 juin 2015

Simplifying shape and colour.

oil on paper. 20x20cm

oil on canvas 50x50cm

oil on paper 30x30cm

                                                               oil on card. 30x18cm

I am really trying to exclude anything unnecessary in these recent pieces: it is hard to give up on things that have a degree of familiarity. The small size doesn't help either because I feel the need to be expansive, to work outside any comfort zone and of course there is a huge difference in the marks made when the arms gesture is wider. Having said that, the small size of these still means two or three days work or in some cases, weeks. I said earlier that I wanted to try not to revise, to set it down once but I don.t think that I am up to it or maybe it is the reworking, the breaking down and rebuilding that I like.

 The light is very bright here in June and the colour of the trunk of this tree changes throughout the day along with shadows .

dimanche 14 juin 2015

Problems of seeing: seeing more.

                                                       small bush. oil on paper. 30x18cm.

                                                    garden. oil on canvas. 30x30cm

                                                   garden. oil on canvas. 30x30cm

tree and field. oil on canvas. 80x80cm

There is a YOUTUBE video of the TED talk that Sargy Mann was to have given. It is a very thought provoking piece.

jeudi 11 juin 2015

Romantic Tradition.

oil on paper. 30x30cm

oil on canvas 80x80cm

                                                                 oil on canvas 120x120cm

Amongst the trees in my garden is a small bush which attracts my attention: it figures in some form or other in all my paintings of late. It is not significant in size or species but it stands there and I am drawn to it.

Wind blows it; light falls upon it; time passes. As an image it can be subsumed in paint or be clearly delineated. I use it as an anchor, an apt metaphor because I am at sea here, lost and trying to gain my footing within a tradition of landscape painting in the British Isles that goes back to the eighteenth century.

 The sense of landscape must have been present in some conscious way before that even if it was not formally recognized. Blake and Palmer used it to lament a passing of an age: perhaps a mythic one. Constable and Turner saw in it proof of Godly design and they were not just concentrating on surface appearance, not really precursors of Impressionism.

 Landscape as a lived experience, Lanyon or metaphor, Nash and as engagement with the world  has continued through Modernism and remains for many a vital, questioning focus of a romantic tradition.

Parmi les arbres de mon jardin, il ya un petit buisson qui m'attire - il est figuré dans une forme ou une autre dans tous mes tableaux récents.
Sa taille ou sa variété n'ont pas d'importance, mais il m'attire.

Il bouge avec le vent, la lumière l'éclaire, le temps passe...Comme image il peut être englobé par la matière ou clairement décrit. Je m'en sers comme d'un ancrage, une métaphore pertinente, car je me sens déboussolé et perdu en train d'essayer de m'orienter dans la tradition du paysage des iles Britanniques du XVIIIe siècle.

Le sens du paysage a dû être présent à l'esprit avant cette époque, même si ce n'était pas formellement reconnu. Blake et Palmer s'en servaient peut-être pour regretter la fin d'une ère, (une qui était peut être mythique). Constable et Turner ont vu dans le paysage la preuve de l'existence de Dieu alors qu'ils ne se concentraient que sur des apparences superficielles - Ils n'étaient pas vraiment des précurseurs de l'impressionisme.

Le paysage, dans l'oeuvre de Peter Lanyon se présente comme une expérience vécue ou chez Paul Nash comme une métaphore.

En tant qu'engagement avec le monde cela a continué à travers le Modernisme et reste pour beaucoup d'artistes d'un grand intérêt et une interrogation concernant la tradition romantique.