Reasons to be cheerful…

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Tea and Polo, acrylic & watercolour on Saunders Waterford paper, 56 x 76 cm. 2020

at least I’m not spending cash during ‘lockdown’…rather revisiting and reworking stuff I’ve had kicking about the place.  For example there’s my large series of TFTLR that have been ‘repurposed’ (what a ghastly word!) as Paintings Standing Up.  I’m also unearthing the ‘failed’ pictures on paper from my earlier virus series and jollying them up to show a tad of insouciance in the face of the you know what…

Happy Day…

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No. 129

The sun has made a welcome return and…ta da! I’ve filled Box Three of my Wonky Geometry series.  I’m happy about this on two counts – as not only does it mean only one to go (admittedly an arbitrary self-imposed diktat) but also it’s been (with five other items) on my annual targets for work production for the year.  Perhaps lockdown will see me complete all five this year (rather than has habitually been the case several being rolled over to the following year).  Then again maybe at some point we may be allowed out again!

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No. 135 – ‘Tin Hat & feather’

 

In the Country of Lost Things…

Dancer's Air
Dancer’s Air, timber & acrylic, 2020

‘Lockdown’ is increasingly feeling like being inside of Auster‘s wonderful (and as it turns out prescient) novel.  And hereabouts I’m digging around in the tight spaces of those things either abandoned or discarded.  But every cloud etc.  So more Paintings Standing Up are mushrooming into life!

french toast
French Toast, Oil & acrylic on timber, 2020

Paintings Standing Up…

beetlebum
Beetlebum, wood offcuts & acrylic, 2020

The continuing ‘lockdown’ is probably sending a lot of us a tad nutty…certainly I’m bouncing around the studio playing with all sorts.  This includes my growing collection of Paintings Standing Up that developed out of an earlier series TFTLR (Tales From The Lumber Room).  These scrappy little constructions have been littering the studio for several years and over the past week or two I’ve dusted some off, given them some TLC and given them titles.  So there’s now a ‘body’ of work (well seven or eight) to put up online.  The first and second are here now…

stockadeboozing
Stockade Boozing,wood offcuts & acrylic, 2020

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

Resolution…

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I imagine that for the ‘strivers’ this is around the time that New Year resolutions start to get irksome.  They would for me if I were the sort to pose myself tough ambitions of that kind.  As it is I’m simply resolved to get some things ‘resolved’ this year.  So no new projects, no purchases of fresh timber, new canvas or paints and – especially – no new ‘ideas’!  Of course what I call ‘ideas’ is a rather grand term for what are just notions that mostly go out the window I start working on them.

So instead I’ve made an inventory of all the various half baked things on the go at the moment.  I say inventory but really I’ve just had a mooch about the studio and dragged out everything that’s sitting there.  And set about deciding what might be potentially be ‘resolved’, whether that’s a bit of ‘tickling up’, more radical surgery or being put out of its misery.  It includes the growing mountain of paper works, offcuts of full sheets, each boxed up at various sizes, of which the biggest is the Wonky Geometry series at 27 x 27 cm.  This constitutes 112 pieces to date, the last six of which are shown above, the result of a few days of ‘resolution’.

 

Recharging…

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right here…Hazlewood Marshes on the Alde just outside Aldeburgh in Suffolk.  It helped to have a sunset of that intensity on 10th January of course!  We love opportunities to get away to the coast, quite a hike for us here in the centre of the country.  And though it rather gets in the way of making work the chance to relax and enjoy such a location is much appreciated.  However it’s also the case that just occasionally here and there as one wanders about you see things that will impact on the making of paintings.  So it was on this trip.

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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.