Tag Archives: white

another painting, incidentally

Saturday 11 June 2011

in nine equal parts, shown in a random order (some surface incidents) – it takes a perfectionist to appreciate the small imperfections…

these nine ‘parts’ together comprise one of my series of small paintings called edgescapes. i found, or unearthed, four edgescape panels in a semi-completed state (luckily not consigned to the trash), and this particular painting on panel will be on show at the Harleston Gallery, Norfolk, from 18th June to 11 July 2011, along with some more of my abstract paintings… i am most honoured to be exhibiting as a ‘guest artist‘ in HWAT 2011…

abstract painting, winter weathered textures - frost ice, stone, white, light blue - edgescape 29 by jazz green artist

both the wood & the hardboard used to construct this series of paintings on panel was scavenged from a skip. i am quite handy with a mitre saw… i once found some small pieces of wood in the middle of the road, in the street where i live… well, if the trucks wouldn’t travel so darn fast…

i bought some acrylic paints and they have lasted me years – so i am obviously quite frugal with colour… my favourite colour (absolutely) is grey because there are so many hues…

blue abstract painting - wall erosion decay, winter - edgescape 26 by jazz green artist

perhaps there is a trace of puritanism in my aesthetic, eschewing joy or extravagance in my process. i am mindful and serious, the less said the more done . i often work in silence, but true silence is a rare thing, even in the countryside…

solitude (i think) makes for better paintings – i call upon rembrandt and goya as some good examples…

abstract painting decay eroded surface textures, blue ash grey - edgescape 26 by jazz green artist

i often utilise materials derived from my environment in my paintings – soil from the garden, ash from the fire grate, tiny seeds or powdered eggshells. i carefully prepare and store these materials in jars – i like a semblance of order in my art studio. i like working with texture simply because it engages the senses beyond looking – there are incidental memories embedded in the surface…

my paintings evolve from a process of loss & sometimes failure, since i seem to erase most of what i paint – i lose sight of the thing in order to find it again… incidental flaws can be beautiful in their own way…

i am sad about some things but hopeful about others… if i can create art when i am doubtful then then there is always the possibility of making something better…

blue textured abstract painting, weathered eroded textures, winter - edgescape 26 by jazz green artist

i have never felt confident enough to go completely abstract in my process, in the manner of gerhard richter or robert ryman, although i believe that the paintings i have created are objects in themselves with their own distinct identity & reality, perhaps like human beings who assert their individuality but still desire to ‘fit in’ somehow with the rest of the world…

perhaps i am just asserting their right to be different…

abstract painting surface erosion, decay winter - edgescape 26 by jazz green artist

i am not sure that i am really a painter in the conventional sense – i do not make pictures and any resemblance to a known reality is often a coincidence… i take photographs to help me remember, but i fear that if i look at them for too long or work directly from them there will be a kind of pseudo realism creeping in (one can always tell)…i tried this with drawing and they became very scientific…

my work is perhaps a type of visual intervention in the course of an implicit understanding or knowledge, a quiet conveyance or translation of experience, between what exists and what most sticks in the mind, connected to the immediate, known environment..

abstract winter painting, textured, weathered surface - edgescape 26 by jazz green artist

my art seems to be driven by the small reminders of life and death, that nothing remains constant, how things fracture, break down, disappear – i am aware of mortality and the transience of our life on earth…

i am happy being older (and hopefully wiser) but it bothers me that i can’t see things as sharply as i once did – perhaps this will turn out to be a good thing (for a painter)…

blue textured, eroded surface abstract painting, winter - edgescape 26 by jazz green artist

it still rankles with me that i didn’t get a painting accepted into a regional art exhibition. in their words they were: looking for recent works by artists who particularly engage with habitat, the environment, and both the natural and the man-made world in their process… perhaps my paintings didn’t sufficiently  portray this environmental element – such a rejection is always food for thought… sensitivity creates a tough skin over time, an outer crust or patina of self-protection, and it feeds back into the painting process – we want to say less…

abstract textured painting on panel, ice blue surface - edgescape 26 blue, by jazz green artist

i have been thinking more about water and clouds and how they represent flux, fluidity, distance and a certain kind of unobtainable otherness… my world is not static, flat and contained within a square but i seem to have have made it look so… we need air to breathe and we are (i think) about 90% water, so these elements are omnipresent in our being

abstract painting dark blue eroded texture - edgescape 26 by jazz green artist

i am reminded by seeing the work of more established artists that i must have at least thirty more years of painting ahead of me to get this thing right (this is many more years than i have been painting so this is a positive thing).

today they announced that parts of east anglia are officially in drought, that wildlife is at risk and that farmers must be more prudent in using water on their crops. today it rained just as i remembered it (and i have been putting water out for the birds).

all images & text © jazz green 2011

last chance to see Six Abstract Painters

Halesworth Gallery, Steeple End, Opp. St Mary’s Church, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 8LL

28 May to 15 June 2011

open daily, Monday-Saturday 11am to 5pm, Sundays 2pm – 5pm

on now: Reunion Refresh @ Reunion Gallery, 5 Feb – 22 Oct 2011

next up: HWAT exhibition 2011, Harleston Gallery, 18 June to 11 July 2011

all white and well red

Friday 15 January 2010

After my recent walks through the snow-white landscape, as documented in some of my sketchbook drawings and photographs, and the readymade art of paint colour charts, it caused me to recall a few artists who have conceptually explored the non-colour white. There is Malevich, Newman, Ryman, and even Rauschenberg, better known for his mixed media paintings or combines…

I once saw one of Rauschenberg’s white panel paintings in an exhibition on Black Mountain College, and felt sure that it had been touched-up or re-painted, infuriated as I was by its purist abstract minimalism – it both denied and transcended the object of painting.


Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White 1918

barnett-newman
Barnett Newman, The Voice 1950

robert-ryman
Robert Ryman, No Title Required 2006

The artist David Batchelor (who I know more for his assemblage colour works, and he also wrote an interesting book on colour, Chromophobia) has been documenting in photographs the white blanks of papered-over billboards and erased signage in the streets of London since 1997 – found monochomes, which I find most interesting in regard to my own humble found paintings (which perhaps I should now categorise by colour…).

He calls this ongoing series of photographs Monochromes of Modern Life, a reference to Baudelaire’s  ‘The Painter of Modern Life’. Their central void as he calls them, brings into sharp view the multi-layered patina of history surrounding them, and of the transient nature of modern life in the city, both of the buildings and their inhabitants.


David Batchelor, Monochrome #17

As painters, we can have an ambivalence with white; the absence of colour is proof of our non-doing or un-doing, of erasure or covering up. Nearly all of my paintings are constructed first in monochrome, working layers of texture without any use of colour, with colour applied later in thin, scrubby layers, echoing the manner of the slow deposits and gradual erosion of weathering and decay.

It is a very printmakerly methodology too; as a printmaker you plan, prepare and plot out the topography, creating a map or receptacle for colour, before it actually comes into physical existence in the final artwork. Back in 2004, when I first started building the large panels for what were to become my ‘edgescape’ paintings I documented them in the very first stages and called these images my lost paintings. Here is one of them (100cm square), from July of that year.


lost painting, 2004

And here, seen in January 2009, the beginnings of my farmscapes in the studio…

From white to red; a little pluglet for my inclusion in the upcoming Elements: Man and the Environment art exhibition, 26 January to 15 February 2010, at the Forum, Norwich. I was rather surprised to see, when receiving some information about the exhibition, that they have used the image of my painting on the exhibition preview invite…

and then I found my work again on the website…

jazzgreen.com/journal/pics/elements_exhibition

red textured abstract painting
Edgescape : Rost mixed media on canvas, 95cm x 95cm

On some days I think it is a violent painting, full of fury and rage, restless, volcanic, caustic; on other days it glows with a passion, a visual feast of ripened fruit and dark wine, a spirit for life, hedonistic and undefeatable…

(read more about this red abstract painting…)

And lastly, as a footnote, it occured to me that as an artist, if one were to go down a purely conceptual route there is the high possibility that someone has thought of the idea before, as ideas are often generated by sociological or cultural influences; whereas when pursuing a more process-oriented route, then in the making of art, whether highly-crafted or poorly rendered, it will always be a one-of-a-kind.