Saturday, 30 January 2010
Maybe a painting of lamp chops standing on their ‘shoulders’ on a bread board is not crazy to some painters, but I had never painted anything like this before. My experience with close-ups, still lifes and even outdoor scenes is limited. If I dare say it, my 'strength' as a painter has always been with conceptual work, huge non-representational works. Now, it is my objective to ‘get good’ at these more 'classical' genres just for the experience. For this still life I worked from a photograph, obviously, and didn’t manipulate the lighting or composition to make the scene more interesting or enigmatic. Just a straight shot – the bare bones so to speak – and a straight painting was what I was looking for. However, it took a lot of ‘seeing’ to get the chops to remotely represent the real thing, and I think I should have made them smaller with more space around them.
Monday, 25 January 2010
Off we go...
Sunday, 24 January 2010
During my break, I wanted to finish work and good work at that – at least paintings that I was happy with. I usually stick with a work to try and resolve the problems and that strategy has always taught me something. However I realised that some of the work I had done was just not redeemable. So, I wiped out two and re-primed them with Titanium White oil paint, so heaven only knows what will appear on those surfaces. For at least two weeks it was far too dark to paint during the day and I had to paint with my daylight lamp attached to my table easel. Even with this lamp on I felt I wasn’t using colour very well. Also, it was far too dark to take any decent photographs – it still is, here in London. These are not complaints; just facts.
Today, I had planned to see an exhibition at the National Gallery, but when I woke up, the whole event and outing just wasn’t ‘speaking’ to me any more, (which was very strange for me) so I spent a few hours working on an outdoor scene I had photographed two years ago. This was one of the paintings I started during my leave, but couldn’t complete. Yet another work, too complicated to paint in a day; well for me at least. However, I made progress and learned a lot and even with these tiny, and I mean really tiny, movements forward with understanding and getting back to ‘seeing’, told me that I had made a good decision to stay at home. By listening to my own inner voice, I gained clarity. This clarity revolves around staying with my own work and spending more time on it instead of rushing around trying to absorb the whole art world in one weekend. It also revolves around really sticking with paintings that don't go well from the beginning. It also helped confirm what makes me really happy.
I also have to learn how to manage my time. I am awful at it. Not going to the art exhibition, gave me time. The painting I am working on will not end up on anyone’s wall, but it is in the completion of it that I get clear about what it takes to be a painter and the feeling of satisfaction is incomparable.
Until the Summer light comes, I think I shall spend the nights working on charcoal drawings just to try and keep creating each day and practicing, practicing, practicing. The weekends shall be reserved for painting. I have one nearly-finished still life from my weeks off work which I tried to photograph today but for that, again, the light was poor. It is the weirdest still life I have ever attempted, and maybe, if I am in a quirky mood next weekend, I’ll post it here.
a.m. - Feeling Behind & Out of Focus
Monday, 11 January 2010
Oil on Canvas - 30" x 25"
The Original Picasso
Colour Linocut - 25" x 13"
The Original of Lucas Cranach the Younger
"Portrait of a Woman" - Oil on Board - 83 x 64 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum - Vienna
Sunday, 10 January 2010
Oil on Canvas - 8" x 8"
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
Charcoal on Cartridge Paper - 11.5" x 11.5"