Tag Archives: black


Wednesday 9 September 2015

three more small pictures from the artworks exhibition: ten, eleven, twelve.

the final three mixed media painting/collages from a series of twelve [box-framed in black], which are currently on show in artworks 2015 at blackthorpe barn in suffolk. the exhibition opened on saturday 5 september and continues to sunday 27 september 2015. open daily 10am to 5pm.


10. castles and caravans, painting and collage, 7cm x 7cm
[frame size: 18cm x 18cm x 4.5cm deep]


11. seaside blues, painting and collage, 5.5 cm x 7cm
[frame size: 18cm x 18cm x 4.5cm deep]


12. syncopated jazz, painting and collage, 7cm x 7cm
[frame size: 18cm x 18cm x 4.5cm deep]


[twelve black boxes: my work in the artworks exhibition at blackthorpe barn]


Artworks is a professional art group of thirty east anglian artists. Each year we organise a group exhibition at Blackthorpe Barn in Suffolk. All work by the artists in Artworks 2015 is new, created in 2014-15.

The artists in Artworks 2015 are: Valerie Armstrong; Mike Ashley; Lyn Aylward; Alfie Carpenter; Gillian Crossley-Holland; Cathy D’Arcy; Helen Dougall; Dunham; Chris Gamble; Roger Gamble; Jazz Green; Alison Jones; Eleonora Knowland; Lucy Lutyens; Mac McCaughan; Christine McKechnie; Annabel Mednick; Katie Millard; Elaine Nason; Carol Pask; Anne Paton; Doug Patterson; Kit Price Moss; Eileen Revett; Kate Reynolds; Colin Slee; Liz Waugh McManus.

Saturday 5th September to Sunday 27th September 2015
Blackthorpe Barn
Rougham Estate
Bury St Edmunds
IP30 9HZ

Artworks Gallery shop: paintings, original handmade prints, sculpture, ceramics and glass, artist postcards & greetings cards. Artworks café for light refreshments. Free parking at Blackthorpe Barn. The Artworks exhibition is signposted via AA road signs. Junction 45 from A14.

In black and white: the making of grey

Saturday 7 June 2008

The more you look at things the more new things seem to appear, and the more you try to unpack art the more complex it becomes… I’ve never consciously referenced other artists’ methodologies in the making of my work but recently my new paintings were described as Rothkoic… maybe my work does resonate on the scale of objective, non-representational painting, somewhere between the sombre hues of late Rothko and Robert Ryman’s squares.

In an interview on Color, Surface and Meaning Ryman describes the neutrality of white being reactive to the surroundings, unrestrained by a deliberate narrative, the viewer making the physical connections within the space.

Robert Ryman, No Title Required 2006; Jasper Johns, Flag 1958; Mark Rothko, Untitled (black on grey), 1970.

The square is the perfect embodiment of a neutral starting space which brings physical emphasis to the juxtaposition and pairing of surfaces. I too work within a square for its impartiality, with only a rough idea of an image, and of the colours I want to use, the reaction of materials creating the ensuing narrative or symbolism; quoting directly from Ryman, it’s not representing anything else [it is what it is], that is, we will either see something in it or see nothing at all. Ryman is reticent, ambiguous (like his work), revealing very little beyond the basic premise of his work, he leaves it to us to formalise the ideas and create deeper meaning from their context.

Another artist who comes to mind when thinking of objectivity is Jasper Johns and his use of the non-colour grey, as a recent retrospective of his monochromatic works called simply Gray was shown at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. In an interview, he said that the absence of color made the work more physical, the paring down of painting to its substance, a real object. All artists feel a particular intensity about things, such as a colour, texture or form, but not everyone will share this personal vision. However, Rothko, wrongly defined as a colour field painter, remarked that he was not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else, only in expressing basic human emotions, something akin to a religious or revelatory experience. In his later works 1969-70 a profusion of browns,violets, blacks and greys dominated his paintings, all containing horizontal bands of colour within a portrait format. The painting Untitled (Black on Grey) in the Guggenheim collection, seems one of many with sombre dark, grey tones, and similar to these two works on paper which were up for auction in late 2007 (subsequently selling for $10.75 and $9.5 million).

I’ve heard that painting is dead in the water, very old school, worn down by its shiny new rivals, installation and new media art. I’ve been contemplating of late what justification I can give to pursuing painting in a post-modern art world. In the end, it’s about resonance and connectedness within the work, the visceral as opposed to the political. Yes, contemporary artist, we depend on our senses, and we breathe, communicate and think, and either explicitly (as through video or performance art) or perhaps more subtly through the mediums of painting or sculpture we explore the most fundamental existential themes of life and death… as an artist, it is those grey areas that I find most interesting…