Tag Archives: minimalist

this is about the size of it

Friday 31 July 2015

a tiny abstract painting [maybe, of its kind]. a serendipitous moment the other day. a small fragment from something else i was working on.

tiny fragments of painted paper and card, which i then over-painted.


now not so sure about the pale green square and the block of grey, but i like the vertical red stripe next to the yellow edge – and now it is colour-coordinated with stanley the steel tape measure.

photographed on black card for visual clarity. such small things are easily lost in the day-to-day…


this is about the size of it.

that is all.

on the edge of painting

Monday 25 August 2014

some thoughts on the edge of painting, or maybe on the side of painting, a casual sideways glance at some things i have been working on.

paintings edges artist studio
edges of some some paintings i have been working on [stacked]

on the side of painting suggests support or encouragement, to keep going. on the edge of painting is the doubt or hesitation before starting a painting, or the anxiety about not painting, or whether it really is a ‘painting’ – but i will try not to get too hung up about it.

paintings edges artist studio
more sides or edges of paintings

a page from a recent sketchbook, from around february-march 2014.


these sketches remind me of my older stuff, way back, before the internet, back in the day when we weren’t encouraged to check out what every other artist was doing every hour of every day. life seemed so simple back then.

i was toying with the idea of creating relief constructions, but in the end i used the square as a building block. there is a sort of push-pull tension between holding it together [containment] and it all falling apart [collapse].

curiously, i have also written [alongside the sketches] that “these [inserted ‘manly’] discussions on abstraction are getting nowhere because they can’t let go of the ‘machismo’ ego in the act of creation” – not sure what was i thinking – is some abstract painting an act of male bravado, showing off?

here is one ‘painting’ in progress on my studio trestle table. i think i have a title for this one: shedshack.

painting in progress artist studio table

this piece has texture, or textural incidents and juxtapositions – it’s not really a painting. incidentally, i have makeshift shelving constructed from old housebricks and scaffold planks, and around the place are bits of bark or driftwood, crushed or corroded bits of metal, pebbles and the like. i like things that are tactile, that you can pick up and feel, as much as look at.

i am interested in the objective ‘craft’ element of minimalism and how it [usually] rejects narrative, representation or emotional content, at least from the perspective of its making. afterwards, i guess it’s anyone’s guess – the precision and clarity of minimalism gives joy to many. [by interested in i mean intrigued, curious – what are we/they really thinking?]

here is a quote from a young Frank Stella (aged 31), a painter best known for his constructed ‘paintings’, where perspective, shape and form are real elements, not illusional:

My painting is based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there. It really is an object. Any painting is an object and anyone who gets involved enough in this finally has to face up to the objectness of whatever it is that he’s doing. He is making a thing.

[A New Cut in Art, LIFE magazine, 19 January 1968]

Hey Stella!

frank stella painting studio 1967-68

[Frank Stella in his studio, circa 1967]

it's a mystery…

Friday 11 April 2014

minimalist mixed media mini-artwork, from the mysterious way of natural deterioration and decay, as observed from day to day, around my way, anyway…

mystery postcard art exhibition fisher theatre bungay 2014 - abstract art barns decay

[painting and collage on card, 22-23 march 2014]

dear reader, i created some more ‘art on a postcard’ for another fundraising art event, a mystery mini-artworks exhibition at the delightful fisher theatre in bungay, suffolk. note: it’s pronounced bun-ghee, not bun-gay, nearly rhymes with fungi. unrelatedly, i’ve seen wild fungi growing near bungay [could be a poem in the making!].

i can reveal i created this postcard for hwat‘s mystery mini-art exhibition because yesterday someone told me it had sold to a mystery buyer, which was very nice to hear (it’s all for a good cause). all the ‘mystery’ artworks are £25 and all sales proceeds will support hwat in its tenth anniversary year.

p.s. i haven’t seen any of the mini artwork postcards on show yet, otherwise i’d include a picture of the exhibition, which is in the fisher theatre’s bar/café, from 7 – 20 April 2014, open monday to saturday 10am-3pm, and from 6pm on evenings when there are music gigs, plays or films showing.