Helping out…

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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

Health & Efficiency…

Chalk Helith
Chalk Helith, Acrylic on paper, 151 x 49.5 cm. 2019

It’s difficult to know what constitutes efficiency in the matter of painting.  After all a good deal of the ‘magic’ resides in the capture of time.  Of course this can be accomplished in a matter of moments (although even the experts in this probably often have longueurs between actions) but for some of us the endless prevarications, adjustments and alterations are very much part of the process.  Nonetheless with some pictures it takes me months to sort them out to my satisfaction, perhaps that’s why I have so many on the go at any time.  Add to that occasional periods of ill health and the onset of the winter (cold studio, poor light…) and things can take a dickens of a time.

And off it goes…

Halfscissors

This one is titled The Half-Scissors after the poem of the same name by Peter Redgrove.  And before anyone points it out the black ‘form’ does, I realise, look more like a pair…

But I love the snippet of quotation from the poem so thats it then.  And its the first of these new, text bound paintings to be going off to a show, courtesy of the excellent painter Gordon Dalton who curated it…

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In praise of…tinkering

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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!