Making decisions about what kinds of paintings one might make is, in my experience, quite a curious business. Sometimes it seems obvious what the ‘idea’ should be but in the making it turns out to be very different indeed. My recent Conversations have certainly gone that way with a vengeance in recent months. But at others you can find yourself fiddling around for quite a while before the combination of form and content (and as regards non-objective painting lets not get into that one right now) seems about right but then you can be off and running for quite a distance before it runs out of juice for you. These Cornish Coast paintings pretty much fell into that category minding the fact that the formal structure was one I first deployed back in 1972!
Right now I’m pushing on with a formal scaffolding that I’ve seen used, here and there, by a variety of painters over the forty five or more years that I’ve been studying pictures with some seriousness. Not that that matters of course because in my head at least I’ve got sound reasons for using it. I’ve put up a canvas above simply to show how the ‘working out’ of the notion can be an ugly business…this started out with a first idea that simply wouldn’t (or maybe I just couldn’t) resolve. At the moment I’m reworking it with a sketched out second ‘notion’ that I’m a tad more hopeful will succeed. Only time will tell but I shall post up the reworked canvas even if it doesn’t make it… Is it these peculiar (and I suspect to the layman rather absurd and pointless) personal struggles that make painting still, despite our image saturated media world, a rewarding experience?