Quite a scrabbler in my downtime, since becoming a full time painter.
I've read a range of material that analyses the psychology behind games and conversations in cyberspace, and it's described as a weird combination of reality and fantasy and a whole new place in your brain to occupy. The place where conversations takes place is more like a 'dream' than anything, but made challengingly real by the 'presence' of another, the coming and going, the meetings in real time.
Scrabble got me into writing online generally, switched on a narrative voice in my head which has been quiet amidst the demands of a full time job over that last 13 years. Talking to friends through scrabble has become a place to condense and distill ideas, a discipline in communication contained within a bubble.
Phew, another solo exhibition under my belt. Some snaps pre-crowd! Yes, there was a crowd. Fantastic Auckland, everyone so social and supportive. Wonderful Rex and Jennifer and Kim doing such a great job. Great to trust that all the decisions made around the exhibition are right. Beautiful hanging decisions from Rex, really spacious and all the right work dialoging with each other.
Exhibition openings are a great opportunity to get feedback and rave...what does it all mean, how and why, lots of 'how do you do that?'. It helps me too to explain from scratch, how did I come to this kind of work? I came to this because I have a whole lot of visual and conceptual agendas that I need to fulfill. I want paintings to look like they are inevitable, that they exist because they have to exist. They must not look contrived, but effortless and spontaneous. They are not effortless! They are such hard work, but that is the fun, to make them look like they made themselves. It's walking (or dancing) the line between randomness and systems that I am really interested in, achieving unity and variety, and opening up as much ambiguity as possible, abstract, landscape, textile, wind, networking, weaving... Counting layers last night. Minimum 6 complete layers of paint, sometimes 12.
Hope people get to see the work in the flesh. There is no substitute for scale, surface quality, light, pristine white walls and a space to engage in a receptive solitary fashion to the pleasure of paint.
There and back. Oh, how can any art form possibly compete with an aerial perspective. Let us never take this for granted. Wow, majestic beauty, utter wonder, stunning Aotearoa.
For more exhibition opening shots click here: Auckland Arts Diary
Just finished the last of work for Auckland, and all the work leaves Wednesday.
Working to a deadline means lots of mess, no time to be clean and tidy, just do it. Every session necessitates a shower. I get paint on my shoulders from swinging a rag over them. I get paint on my face, glasses, hands, the floor, over everything I touch and then that last photo is after the big clean up of tools from a session. It gets through the house, and I hate that, all over the sinks and the washing machine.
What a relief to have met the finish deadline with just enough time to wrap the work. 170kgs of work, leaving home and making its way in the world. Thanks goodness I am able to clear space. Storing paintings under the stairs is only one place, and I have another on the porch. I keep several types of paintings; my own collection for around the house, ones available for sale, ones that I want to keep because I want to keep working on them, and new boards ready for my next show.
Once I have caught up with all this general painterly stuff, I will be blogging about my work as the ideas develop, and I'm really looking forward to that.
One does accumulate quite a 'herstory'. I've kept workbooks since 1986, as was the requirement at art-school. It amazes me that I can get any old workbook out, open it at some random page and read something that I could have written yesterday.
It has been said that a painter only paints one painting for their whole life, or tries to. Even though I have been through so much change through the various stages of my life there is something so consistent recorded in those books, that it makes me feel like I'm a stuck record. Not a loop however, more of a spiral, growing more determined, stronger imprint into matter, and I like to think...space and time. Painting has a lot to do with feelings towards space and its definitely time-based, a record of time passing, freezing the moments. A painting never lies; time invested is palpably visible.
When I am lost, not so often these days, I start rereading my workbooks. Some of them are full of commentary and there are others that have an emptiness and lack of any real attempt to communicate anything. Those books are probably from when painting is going really well...and everything is in the painting, no need to say anything else, complete synthesis. I do try and stop and write down my philosophy of painting when that rises to the top. That sometimes feels quite urgent, a notation of some fleeting thoughts that seem to come come from somewhere quite sub-concious. Those ramblings then get shaped into 'artist statements' of the kind you can find on this website.
Exciting! This is my first blog ever. I've been an artist and educator since completing my Masters at Elam, in Auckland, in 1992. I have flinged and pushed a lot of coloured mud around, ranted and written about painting quite a lot since then and that's all going to come together HERE in this blog.
Firstly, painting, any relevance at all in this world? Resoundingly, YES! More about that to come.
The word...painting. You will notice there is 'pain' in painting, but it also sounds like ..."panting" in a good way. What's it all about? I shall endeavour to enlighten or un-enlighten you all in this blog.
The artists heaven, the studio, some images;
Oh, next heaven...I am the painting and my clothes are the best painting I do:
That's enough for a virgin post, more to come. Probably rant most weeks (or days if I can't hold back!)
I would love to engage in conversations.