Minervois?

The generation of an idea for a painting, or a series of paintings, isn’t really that hard.  Actually finding the form for the notion and then committing it to canvas or paper (or whatever other support you come up with) is a darn sight more tricky – for me at least.  I sometimes envy those painters who go to work day after day (even year after year) knowing that it will be more rectangular stains or oily stripes or spots or whatever, and that these vehicles can encompass all their feelings for what they think the picture might stand for.  

And as I come towards the end of a group of like minded pictures (occasioned by either a natural or practical conclusion) I start thinking about what may come after.  But rather than moving forward with freshly minted thoughts it seems like one of those times to think about mining older shelved projects. So I’m toying with a set of canvases that will be based on the stack of collages made off the back of a trip to the Minervois way back in 2007…

But for the present here’s one that started out down in Dorset…text then from Robin Robertson’s poem of the same name…

Between the H & HM
Between the Harvest and the Hunter’s Moon, acrylic on paper mounted on board, 104 x 31 cm. 2020

Cracking Pictures can be found in the most unlikely places…

Bram Van Velde

This was nestling in a strange little collection amassed by an artist in the South of France – I cannot recall his name nor even where his fascinating old winery that he had converted was located.  It wasn’t far north of Bages, or far west of Narbonne…but you’d have to travel that way to find it…and even then you had better keep your eyes peeled.  The sign from the main road didn’t look promising – a small wooden hand painted ‘L’Art Contemporain’ I think…but we followed it down and found a huge old sprawling winery converted into a set of gallery spaces with all the works this old artist had swapped (I imagine) with artists he had met or worked or shown with over a very long career.  There were plenty of famous names and some less so. Some great works and some more provisional or curious…there was plenty to  see and I was especially taken with this lovely little Bram Van Velde, the Dutch painter much admired (and discussed) by Samuel Beckett.  The spaces were light airy and generous and the variety of works quite astounding.

The whole experience was a real delight with unexpected items that – wonderfully in my view – were totally uncurated – just plenty of intriguing pieces to see and admire.  In a set of building that themselves were equally fascinating…in one of the actual vats…opened up to display more items there was even a Mondrian…

ok it was a little battered with a chip of paint missing in one corner but you could walk right up to it and stick your nose so close you could smell the mustiness of it without guards coming to warn you off…  go and find the place if you are down in that corner of the Minervois!