This is the painting from two days ago after another session of painting. I covered the entire canvas again, working in the morning light and I prefer it now, it has matured. There are one or two new features that came out of the original shapes giving it a clearer narrative, the colours are more balanced and it is just stronger overall. I was looking at Picabia for some guidance today, he liked to fill his canvases with multi-forms and undulating connected surfaces. I have also been looking at Klee (both with this painting and the last) because he gives me confidence to use colour in a vibrant way, for its own sake -using colour for its own colour language. I might have mentioned Auerbach before, but he sort of revolutionised my painting last year, gave me a new enthusiasm for it, because he uses so much paint. I'd always been a bit stingy without realising, layering thin careful layers, probably because I was using expensive little 37ml tubes. Since being quite fascinated and moved by his paintings which I saw hanging in London, I was driven to get home and just play with paint again. I set about sourcing some cost effective 250ml cans of industrial oil paint so that I'd have enough to feel free to use in a freer way. His paintings are so heavy they actually need a crane to hang them. Well I am nothing like that but the point about using paint for its texture got through and it is a great contrast to using a computer program which cannot imitate the look of that, let alone the experience of applying it. (Also I have updated my previous painting - with a photograph which is a truer representation of its colours in daylight).
Yesterday I wracked my brain for hours; I wrestled and worried and then the power got cut off and I went to sleep. I studied and thought and got nowhere. I looked at artists and theorists and liked some of it and didn't like some of it. In the end I wiped it all and drew some geometric shapes. Today I decided without thinking or worrying to start at the beginning and take little steps and keep on going until I got to the point where I could go no further.
If today follows from yesterday then perhaps it was Ben Okri or Descartes or Camberwell College that helped or perhaps it was chatting with a friend about a festival or just getting some decent sleep. Okri says people are the stories they feed themselves. Descartes says you must use method, Camberwell is surprisingly objective.
So the story started with a bottle of linseed oil which then became a metre of wire. It was coiled then shone upon and it became a line in ink on paper. The bottle in wire was wrapped in a vest and looked at through a flatbed scanner and the drawings were too. The highlights by colour separated and were put back together again and layered and levelled to a median. The pictures were copied and slowly, in the process, were new pictures.
More about this:
Moses was hatched from an egg left by Duck-duck and Oscar who got eaten by a fox or stoat some 2 months ago - so he was quite special. Elmera the peking pheasant chicken still sits on a nest of three chicken and three duck eggs, so there is hope yet. While Merlin's had his head bitten into by something with canines and a jaw large enough to envelope his skull, (only a few days previously he was in a fight that left him bleeding from his neck). His left face is slightly paralysed from some sort of brain swelling. But the vet shaved his head cleaned him up and gave us anti inflamatories. So while life is fairly idilic it still has its fair share of dramas, not so much late for work again as who's in need of emergency care now?