I've been sick in bed for a whole week, so it's been a good opportunity to ponder some new resources. One is a great book 'The Architecture of Variation', by Lars Spuybroek, an architect, artist and author. It has essays about 'Uniformity and Variety', 'Material Evolvability', 'Moire Effects', 'The Radical Picturesque' and 'Variations in Evolutionary Biology'. Quite heady stuff, multi-layered contexts and voices. More exciting though are the images, (some selected and doctored below) that analyze lines and forms of organic growth that seem really relevant to my work.
I revisited folders of 'readings' from a decade ago and I'm amazed I still get excited over stuff I collected from then that is still philosophically relevant to the things I think about now, and which has come to define my work. I came across the statements (below the images) that I have always liked and that have held true to my thoughts about painting.
It's been a frustrating week because I have been dying to keep the momentum of the previous week going and work with the now ready under-painted surfaces. These 3 works will be pivotal to my defining my next show. I can only paint when I feel good, as it's so high energy, and I have to be feel strong and confident to pull it off.
My deadline for the upcoming exhibition at Milford Galleries in Dunedin is the end of September, in readiness for the opening on the 24th Oct. The show will be called , 'Ardour'.
ardour (ˈɑːdə) or ardorn
1. feelings of great intensity and warmth; fervour
2. eagerness; zeal
[C14: from Old French ardour, from Latin ārdor, from ārdēre to burn]
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Images no.1-5 taken from The Architecture of Variation, Lars Spuybroek.
Image no. 6, 7 & 8, and below my own. All images colour doctored - need high colour this week!
There are all these painters. They're doing it now in the age of the internet and digitized multimedia. Why? All real painters know the pleasure of their medium... an outlaw medium.
Painting is a dense, layered and shifting thing, a complex and ambiguous visual fixing of the zeitgeist, and a cogently critical medium.
Painting bears physical record to the expressions of the human hand...In no other art medium is creation more permanently and intimately bound to the movement of the human body.
We can treat (painting) as indeterminate visual noise, holding at bay it's capacity to offer us meanings, equally, we may be fascinated and absorbed by what we see to a degree that goes beyond meaning. And it is exactly the exploration of these open ended areas of the either side of meaning and symbolic communication that has driven forward the history of painting, generating much of the distinctive complexity and richness....
In the 'step by step' post there were 3 silvery under-paintings, and I have rejected 2 of them, and reworked them today. One I brushed apricot bronze tinted primal, so a transparent layer and have floated some pinky iridescent paint over it. The other silver painting I took back to black. Both these rejects were tonally too dark for the next layer even though I loved some of the incidental marks in them.
I often have to reject work and redo it to push my process further. So the one I retained which is the very 'holey' bright silver one is breaking new ground, as its 'holier' than anything else I have done so far.
I'm responding to feedback that people are quite excited by the 'holes' under my combing works and I am too. Sometimes I look at these under-paintings; and think the work is entirely complete. I have an under-painting in my bedroom which I have been considering for some months to see if it actually sustains a conversation with me in its 'holy' (sic) simplicity. This work was particularly fortuitous, and it's so silky. I love how the paint is floating and transparent. So far I'm loving it as an object of contemplation, very suited to a view from a bed.
Underpainting. Quite a process for me. Love this stage though, so liquid and free. I have taken one back to black since I took these photos, think I can get a better result than I got. Will be interested to see how the very 'holey' one looks underneath the combing. Considering taking the other one back to black and redoing the liquidity for a brighter and more intense outcome,