Visiting friends is lovely but visiting friends who’ve bought work is even nicer! And work takes on another life when seen in a different environment from either studio or gallery. Especially when it’s a piece on paper exquisitely framed. So it is with Pan Tadeusz here in my pals, Moira & Allan, living room in Dorset. Pan is one of the Waldgeschichten, the Forest Stories, part one of the three parts that make up Landscape & Memory. This project is now finally coming to its conclusion, the fourteenth of the eighteen works making up third part Rock of Ages just now resolved to my satisfaction, and joining the other fifty with only four to go. Given that the early stages of the whole scheme started back in 2014, it’s only been five years in gestation. That might seem an inordinate amount of time but given my dithering and distraction I reckon half a decade ain’t too bad!
Because the year is still (just) under a sixth old I’m fairly relaxed about the progress of the various bodies of work underway. Besides several are nearing completion to my satisfaction (and who else is there to consider!). These two, roughly the same size, around 40 x 60 cm., are amongst them. It offers an opportunity to compare and contrast. There are obvious differences in origins and in materials and methods. As for the latter the picture above is on board prepped with hard sandable gesso (Golden) and using a fair bit of various mediums added to the thin washes of pigments. For the one below 12 oz. cotton duck has a lightly thinned plain gesso with a goodly variety of acrylics, including heavy body applied. Mind this one also has a substantial number of thinned washes involved. In terms of content and form the first is part of the on-going Very Like Jazz series where a certain looseness of approach and call and response is the primary process drawing upon fifties modernist art and design tropes; whilst the second is rooted in observations and intimations of my experiences on our recent Cornish adventures. Is there anything else to be extracted from their quite separate personalities other than to underline my inability to stick to one plot line? I’m not at all sure!