Monthly Archives: June 2007

variations on a theme

Monday 18 June 2007

i have just completed four small mixed media collage artworks for a mini-works exhibition display (as part of the Waveney Art Trail, full details to follow). they are a very simple exploration of colour and textural contrasts, evolving into an expression of the  four seasons.

four seasons collage

they each measure 6 x 4 inches (about postcard size, to fit within a standard picture mount issued to every mini-works artist), and will be for sale for at £20 each. the main idea behind the mini artworks show is that it is offers more accessible, affordable art for all.

in these mini-works, I’ve utilised painting, monoprinting, etching and embossed paper fragments.

now, it’s back to work on the other important works…

Edit 22/07/07: they all sold!!

solitude and other brief encounters

Saturday 9 June 2007

It has been some time since I updated my artist journal due in part to the commitment of other work (the day job). I feel that the artwork I am currently developing is born out of an dissatisfaction with the way are (or appear to be), and I can’t quite reconcile what I want to say with what I am able to do. Browns, greys and the associated metallic hues of bronze and pewter repeatedly invite me into an emotional state of raw clarity, as night invites dark contemplation. I also like the contrast with white – its ability to provide a frame and a focus to everything it surrounds – a soft, chalky white which does not startle but gently illuminates. I am currently working on a series of small works out of some of these ideas using reclaimed wood panels – incorporating plaster, paint and metallic leaf. Since I am working on these at odd times their development is sporadic and very slow – I feel I am suffering in their intolerable silence to provide any substantial meaning or purpose.

I recently acquired a new gadget which makes me feel quite emboldened in this solitary journey – a mobile phone with a multitude of functions in the most compact of designs. I can add notes to a calendar (view it as a memo/diary), record transient sounds and voice memos, shoot clips of video, even take photographs. The fact that I can also make and receive telephone calls seems almost inconsequential. I feel a little guilty that I have succumbed to the allure of the technology when what I am striving for is a purity of experience. Below is a selection of still images taken with the new phone – yet more found paintings, discovered in the daily walks required of the day job…

found painting - barnett newman
A close up of an oil tank.. it reminded me of the paintings of Robert Motherwell or Barnett Newman. Taken (along with the others shown here) at around midday between late May to early June 2007.

found painting - abstract photography
Looking down onto the base of a metal structure, must be drainage holes – how very banal!

found painting - found urban asbtracts
The side of another oil tank! Wish I could remember exactly where…

found painting - found urban asbtracts - a wall
An overpass, and a walk beneath it, a wall, an urban abstract…

found painting - found urban asbtract - another wall
More urban traces, another abstract discovered on concrete…

found paintings - abstract photograpahs
This is the inside of the wall of another overpass, under which I pass almost daily. On this particular day it had been raining heavily and the residual seepage was glistening with a mix of oil, concrete sediment and rainwater. The relentless noise of overhead traffic was unsettling to say the least…

found painting - abstract photograph
A close-up of the aforementioned wall; I liked the near symmetry in its composition.

found painting - abstract environmental photography
An even closer-up of the previously referred to wall… my enduring fascination with these traces of detrital seepage needs to be addressed…

I had the idea that i might incorporate these images into an imovie or flash format with some overlaid text – the silent life of a wall or something similar. I feel that my 2D works sometimes do not engage at deeper levels, since there is no clear narrative or starting point (other than documented visual references) – they are just material suffusions of the senses based on the relatively silent space of solitude. Quiet moments (of thought or experience) within the bigger noise of human life seem to provide a deeper awareness of oneself in the contrast. As I have written before, I also like the slow unfolding of my own work over time, their meaning only revealed by the subsequent, repeated visual engagements with them as material objects. Am I making any sense at all today? Probably not, but this journal is turning out to be more and more of a philosophical retreat (rather than the geographical one that I might wish for) by each entry, and in that sense it cannot be any more clearly mapped until the final destination has been arrived at.