Crackin’ On…

Waves
Waves, Acrylic on canvas, 55 x 45 cm. 2019

I dunno why really but the impending ‘end of year’ schtick impels me to ‘tidy’ stuff up.  It probably stems from the ‘bad old days’ (that were pretty ok really) when I was employed and the Christmas/New Year break seemed a good time for clearing decks and finishing projects.  Now of course I’m in the fortunate position that one day is pretty much like another but the impulse lives on.  So I’m trying to ‘complete’ (only to my own satisfaction naturally) the works that have been kicking about for the past few months or in some cases years.  Its probably just as well as otherwise quite a few might never get sorted.

Helping out…

riot07
Cape Poem (left) & Gwarra (right)

Earlier this autumn I put on another show at Deda in Derby.  My contributions are shown above.  I donated Cape Poem to the organisation as part of a fundraiser and contributed a short video piece that can be viewed here.   I’ve a great fondness for Deda and been a long time supporter as well as putting on shows there.  I’d appreciate any support that others might give them!

Ahead of schedule

WG98
Wonky Geometry No. 97, mixed media on paper, 27 x 27 cm. Nov. 2019

‘schedule’ – don’t make me laugh…it’s hardly that.  Nonetheless I dug out this series (still another 100 or so in the work pile) a few days back and chose a few I felt were nearing a kind of conclusion if not a proper resolution.  And now I’ve done four more to take it to a hundred – a sort of milestone I guess – and all well ahead of the festive season so hence the ‘schedule’ notion albeit only in my head.

WG100
Wonky Geometry No. 100, mixed media on paper, 27 x 27 cm. Nov. 2019

Lunar Pulls

The Flight Of White Shadows
The Flight Of White Shadows, Acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92 cm. Oct. 2019

So this new series of paintings now has a title…from a quotation by Will Self.  “I am a great believer in the idea that seascapes exert some kind of lunar pull on the imagination.” that comes from a short essay of the year he spent on Rousay – one of the Orkney Isles.  This picture utilises yet another Peter Redgrove poem extract from the 1972 collection Dr. Faust’s Sea-Spiral Spirit & Other Poems.

If only…

Younghusband
YOUNGHUSBAND PROCLAIMS
Acrylic on paper, 106 x 94 cm. 2019

I had a very deep pocket and access to a very large gallery!  The Landscape & Memory series is now complete, not before time it must be said.  After all the first tranche (the Wood section) began back in Spring 2016 with the first completed works dated that summer.  the second (Water) dallied through 2017 and into last year with the final group (Rock) starting then and bringing us up to the beginning of autumn 2019.  It is 54 works in all that I have always envisaged in three blocks of 18, most likely 2 up and 9 across (as was the case with the first section that I showed at Harrington Mill – though a tall space might suggest a more vertiginous arrangement?

As for the cash…I did show at HMS with the works (all on paper) pinned directly to the wall but the framing up of one piece from Wood courtesy of a purchase by friends and posted here a while back clearly showed up how much better they would look all done.

Alpine
ALPINE REMARK OF JOHN DENNIS                                 Acrylic on paper, 106 x 94 cm. 2019

This would likely require an outlay of upwards of twelve grand.  Any takers for a bit of sponsorship then?!

 

In praise of…tinkering

IMG_3003

I recently commented upon the sad passing of Thomas Nozkowski.  I’d been resisting the monograph on him produced last year until now (not least as I have several catalogues of his) but this week took delivery of a copy.  If you are unfamiliar with his work you’ll not know of his regular practice of making over his canvas boards through erasure and re-painting.  In John Yau’s excellent essay he quotes the artist saying: “I don’t like tinkering. Whenever I go back to a painting, I try to open up the entire surface – you know, run a wash of colour over it, or I’ll scrape it down, or I’ll rub it off with a rag – so that everything is back in play.”

Now I love his work, and (I hope) in my modest way see him as something of ‘a fellow traveller’ in several respects…but not in the matter of ‘tinkering’…it’s something I absolutely love.  Indeed it goes to the heart of my dabbling!  Paintings can, and usually do, sit around for months, and even occasionally years, in order that small additions, adjustments or obliterations may take place.  It is also the case that, rather more rarely for me, the outcome can be ‘opening up’ the entire surface as well.  But it’s the tinkering that mostly takes centre stage and the very thing I celebrate.  And so it is with these three paintings all ‘in play’ since Easter but not significantly altered – as yet – from their early states…but still likely I think to some jolly tinkering!