Wednesday 6th June, 2012
This year in pictures the ups the downs.
I asked this question at the end of 2010, What do I do if not painting? Because as I looked at one particular painting, unnamed as yet , I thought it was sending a few fragments of a message, like separate cut out letters floating around as so much confetti. The message ? “ Give up now , while there is still time”. Give up painting ? For some time I considered this notion.
The painting in question had been such a rogue piece, a painting I could not get anywhere with it , layer after layer, restart after restart. I finally got to some sort of conclusion, or to a point where I felt all options had been tried and at least it appeared in some respect” finished “. But there it was drying and nagging away, sometimes it seemed OK. At other times, it was depressing viewing , to put it politely. By the end of the summer of 2010, there it still was , reproachful , a bit dryer, that’s all, what the fuck?
Of course I should have put it away turned it to the wall, but us artists ,what are we like? Lets be reminded , on a daily basis, of our failings. I’m reminded at this point of that great comedian of yesteryear, Rob Wilton. “ The day war broke out, I said to the wife, I said, I’m joining the home guard ------------- and so on. In my head it read as thus, “ the day I gave up painting, I said to the wife , I said , I’m going to join---, well what , exactly, are you going to do or join? So there it was, what exactly do you do if you give up on that thing that has been your life for so long?
It was that bloody painting’s fault. The thing is I was still painting at no point during this time , did I stop painting and while I still had the usual problems , I was working on, I was painting , thinking, solving, fretting, all the usual sad arse painting shit!
I decided to re- visit the previously mentioned piece and looked again and I came to another supposition , that if this painting was saying anything, maybe it was,” time to move on “ stop digging that hole and for pities sake turn it to the wall.
So come the new year 2011, a new wheeze to lift the gloom, creatively speaking. I set myself some simple painting tasks, for no other reason than to free myself up , some creative stretching exercises , shake of the earlier negativity. “ There is nothing profound here “ , I kept repeating in my head, as I stretched paper. The idea was this, paint some paper a bright colour, then every day, paint , freehand, with a largish brush, in a thin zinc white mix, a circle. I said this was slight, anyway, the colour I chose for the background was red, sort of midway between vermilion and scarlet. The studio was quite cold so the paint ran and dried overnight, which was my intention, so one thing led to another, drippy circles, drippy squares with colour unbound, no restrictions, other than that which seemed to work.
For the whole year I have tried to paint without fear, without care , an alien position for me and as a consequence , I have no idea as to the quality or otherwise of this work. I have ceased making , or seeking to make sense of my work. Is this right, is it valid, am I just looking for an easy way out?
2012, This recent period of work , I have described, began with a painting, now with the title, Resolution, and ends with a painting entitled , Whoooo!
I think that says a fair bit about my state of mind and approach to my work. I may, finally, have let my creative shackles drop away.
Wednesday 4th August, 2010
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