Monday, 8 April 2013

Old and New

'After the Long Hard Winter, it was Time for a Picnic.' Oil and acrylic on board, 30 x 45cm

Paintings don't always end up the way you expect! The above painting started as something else, but the band of white I was trying to 'fit' into the composition wouldn't accommodate my wishes. Sometimes it happens that forcing shapes is against the overall composition, so I had to give up trying to control everything, and  let the paint flow into its own identity. Any kind of insistence can be against your painting, as it can rule out other possibilities! I squeezed some tubes of paint onto the board, and began breaking the block, and as I was at the time thinking of sunshine and Picnics, it suddenly took this form. It's more abstract than my previous work, but I felt that the paint suggestions and title really worked. 

This way of working reminded me slightly of a painting from a couple of years ago, which I'm adding below.

'Terrain,' (Cyprus series) oil on canvas, 98 x 60cm

Again, the painting evolved structurally as I worked, and colours began to suggest worlds. This is mostly how I like to work, with paint and meanings overlapping.

The Easter holidays interrupted my work, as time became rather fragmented, but I have framed my painting to take up to the Royal Academy this Thursday, and submitted drawings to the Painting Center, New York. As I am on their Register of Artists, they email me about exhibition opportunities.  They want 'working drawings,' the kind that artists make either as compositional studies for a painting, or working out ideas for paintings. The brief was that these should not be finished works, just studies, and could include paint and colour. I often work from quick watercolours or pen drawings, either from my imagination or as a synthesis of something seen. My application took a long time, as the work had to be submitted on a CD, by post, and I'm praying that my fee (dollar notes) reaches the PC safely - I could find no other way to submit the fee, as they wouldn't accept electronic payments. Below are a couple of the preparatory drawings I submitted.  Competition will be huge but if you don't try, you don't get the chance!
'Study for Terrain,' gouache on watercolour paper, 11.7 x 8.3ins

'Study for Evolving,' gouache on paper, 11 x 8ins
'Study for City with Fountains,' pencil, felt tip and gouache on watercolour paper, 11 x 8ins
(Click on image for larger view)

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