Tag Archives: rebirth

more grey sky thinking, out of the blue

Friday 30 July 2010

more cloud gazing this week, torrential rain all day on tuesday (a typically british summer’s day) – this was the view from the window at about 6pm…

electricity power lines outside a window, with cloudy sky
a room with a view

i hadn’t really noticed how prominent these power lines were before; my days must be slowly draining of any meaningful structure if i get distracted by this visual discordance with nature’s billowy curtain… today when i awoke, i did, for a brief moment, wonder what day it was, whether it was saturday already, and that a day of more domestic to-do-tasks await me, tasks which fuel so little enthusiasm as to be remotely filed and archived for just such rainy days

in the manner of these featureless, grey days i have been feeling somewhat melancholic in heart and the vast canvas of the sky seemed to be a reflection of the reality of recent events…

thus, i have not been motivated to paint much, well perhaps for an hour or so, here and there, when the mood takes. it seems too self-indulgent to ‘just paint’ when real-life concerns pile up like the laundry, and then there has been the issue of the quality of daylight

here are a couple of close-up images of one of my current paintings, lichenscape II (a work in progress), taken earlier on today…

lichenscape ii - abstract painting - lichen textures detail
detail of the surface of the painting, lichen on stone textures

i had a rash moment of destructive thinking when evaluating this canvas (perhaps inspired by these photographic reframings, seeing paintings within paintings), deciding that i might cut up the canvas into nine smaller ones – the lack of a decent-sized studio space to work in is almost unbearable at times…

i have found that in attending to these two large canvases (aka the lichenscapes) it has clouded my creative process – i realise that i am trying to condense into these two paintings a subjective concern which would be better pursued over eight or ten (or even more) paintings. myriad other thoughts (too nebulous to be proper working concepts or ideas) also run daily through my mind, and then i have to remind myself to just focus

lichenscape 2 painting - detail of surface textures
another detail of the textured surface of a lichen-esque painting

exhibition news

yesterday evening i attended the private view of the exhibition rebirth. lorraine cooke, the curator of the exhibition, has done an amazing job in bringing this show together. i feel most privileged to have some of my paintings included in this art exhibition.

i realise that i am still reticent in ‘working‘ the private view scenario, as i slowly perused the exhibition on the opening night – this is probably due to: a) being very slight and thus am always less ‘visible’ in a busy gallery crowd, and also b) a (now) love/hate relationship with my new dr marten boots. i walked to the gallery from the train station and worked up some fine blisters – such small injuries can really be the breaking of the spirit.

i also met and chatted with the artist veronica grassi – she has some quite beautiful textural, sculptural pieces in this exhibition. barbara leaney’s dogwood sculptures are also quite spectacular, as are the smaller, detailed works of the contemporary japanese artists included in the show. i urge anyone passing through the fine city of norwich to go and see the exhibition at gallery art1821 – it is open until 8th september 2010 – you can also read more about the rebirth exhibition on art 1821’s website

to further the idleness of my daily musings and observations, dear reader, may i introduce to you my humble sketching kit? (i always like to travel light, a habit instilled in me since my inter-railing journeys across europe)

winsor newton cotman sketchers watercolour box
my winsor & newton sketchers’ box of watercolours

very small jam jar for sketching watercolours
a tiny tiptree jam jar (for water)

assorted sketching pencils derwent and caran d'ache
an assortment of stubby sketching pencils, mostly derwent & caran d’ache

and here is a composite image of my sketchbookiness of the last few days, 21-29 july, 2010…

sketchbook pages - studies of clouds and skies, late july 2010
skies and clouds sketches

sketchbook drawing - study of a grey cloud
monday, mid afternoon, looking east across fields towards marshes, high up in the sky, grey centre… in graphite, pencil and watercolour…

sketchbook drawing - more skies and clouds
wednesday, early afternoon… looking east, cooler, bright, clouds moving fast… in graphite and pencil…

sketchbook drawing - study of an afternoon sky
thursday, late afternoon, slim, dark clouds moving laterally, about 5pm…

this is becoming slightly obsessive; i have a mild desire to master the morphing art of the east anglian skies…

and i penned another haiku style poem, or my own ode to a cloud

a cloud
tarnished silver
darkening the weeping willows

i am now thinking of joining the cloud appreciation society, whose pledge is to fight the banality of blue-sky thinking

see my cloud drawings animation from last year: the art of idleness

last chance to seetextures, traces & elements at beyond the image gallery – the exhibition closes at 4pm on sunday 1st august 2010.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust (remembrance of things past)

rebirth: an exhibition

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Rebirth: An ancient culture and philosophy revisited; rediscovered; revitalised; readdressed and remade.

Rebirth, curated by Lorraine Cooke, is an exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art inspired by Ancient Jomon culture and Japanese aesthetic, in collaboration with the Unearthed exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.

The Rebirth exhibition features artworks by Sahoko Aki, Megumi Baba, Shaun Caton, Veronica Grassi, Jazz Green, Tsunaki Kuwashima, Barbara Leaney and Keika Sako. Rebirth, the exhibition, at gallery Art 1821, runs from 29th July to 8 September 2010.

The gallery Art 1821 has a strong curatorial ethos and shows contemporary art by established and emerging artists. Together with exhibitions of new work, the gallery has works for sale by established artists from previous generations. Works by Piranesi, Fernand Leger, Prunella Clough, William Scott and Jamini Roy sit alongside works by established living artists such as Maurice Cockerill, Eric Fischl, Laxma Goud and Colin Self.

i like the linking curatorial concepts behind unearthed and rebirth – as something re-discovered, re-visited, re-contextualised, re-vitalised… i have three large paintings in this exhibition.

i have also been pondering on (the year) 1821 – it was the year Baudelaire was born, and also the year that Keats died…

UPDATE: see some gallery pictures of the rebirth exhibition here…

last chance to see… the NCA 2010 (Norfolk Contemporary Art) exhibition closes at 6pm 21 July 2010

on achieving a perfect lichen-ness [part three]

Tuesday 20 July 2010

the current state of play, the ongoing engagement with the surface, shown here in the sixth (current) state…

the lichens have landed (but are likely to populate still further)…

there have been many, many states in this particular painting but i only have six full-on shots (some of the work is done in the horizontal)…

strangely, have not really referred to any particular photograph – perhaps this is wise; i do not want to end up with a botanical illustration…

given that the above images do not adequately portray the finer workings of the surface – my primary concern – that of the layering process, of embedding a pictorial history of its making… i have taken these detailed images today, a made-to-measure, ground survey…

[the yellow tape measure is in cms]

[myriad colours from grey green, bisque to violet, prussian blue, a ruddish brown]

[splatterings of ochre yellow, mustard, showing the textural quality of the surface]

no-one looks at paintings this closely, so not sure why i do – i suppose i  like the painting within a painting…like something unearthed, buried deep within the layers, the rebirth of a painting within a painting – which leads nicely onto my next exhibition news (which, to make things a tad more organised around here, i will put into a new post)…