WORK IN PROGRESS 'B' continues... Below: Magnified detail shot of current painting.
The current painting ( below ) is still nowhere near satisfactory. To me, it looks dull, and mannered. Like I'm on autopilot, working on it until something inspirational occurs. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing, because every part of its history is recorded and can still be accessed - if you know how to look at it.
Abstraction is like any other form of visual media - it's a kind of prosthetic memory. We can store thoughts outside of ourselves in the form of computers, books, TV, sounds, sculpture and pictures. From language comes imagery, metaphor and codes; To me, abstraction in art is merely another form of encrypted data. I would prefer it if people stood in front of my work and thought about it for a minute. The photographs here are a result of seeing the current piece under the spotlights in my studio, which highlight the details. Seeing the layers, plateaus, and valleys is what's satisfying...even when the painting itself remains unresolved. Whatever form the final composition takes, all the previous histories will still be there, waiting to be found. The photographs below are extreme closeups taken from the same painting ( above ). Variations in light quality are due to the artificial light, as it was night-time when the pictures were taken.
Work-In-Progress 'B', Acrylic on Canvas, 60cm x 60cm, 2016.
Go to Feb 2017's BLISS IN CONCRETE to see the final version.
Ongoing experimentation, this time with 'MARS BLACK' paint. I'm pretty certain this painting will not look anything like this in another 24 hours. Scroll down through October and September 2016's posts ( further down this page ) to see earlier iterations of the same work.
I'm pretty certain the current piece will look nothing like this in a few day's time, which is why I placed my logo in the middle of it. But it'll give you an idea of what's going on. As usual, you can see ( from the detailed shot, below ), that I am complicating things, rather than simplifying them.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE FINAL VERSION OF THIS PAINTING, CLICK HERE!
Went to the 20th anniversary of BPN Architects on Thursday. Rebecca, a designer at Stephen Arthur, wore a startlingly familiar skirt while she posed next to my art across the street..!
I'd especially like to thank BPN for their openness and genuine enthusiasm in championing local artists.
Hopefully this will give inspiration for other local companies to tap the huge creative wellspring that resides in the area. It seems that for Midlands artists, real-world opportunities such as this are sadly few and far between, so perhaps it's no coincidence that such a creative-minded company as BPN are celebrating 20 years of being in business. If more companies thought the same way, Birmingham would be known for the creative powerhouse that it could so easily be.
I've found that one of the more amusing ways to pass the time while invigilating the current show, is to observe certain colleagues' reactions to my 'painting of some trees' ( Daphne Francis Gallery off-site exhibition at The Jubilee Centre, Birmingham, this week ). Colleagues who know my background, and who are aware that I occasionally do representational art ( ie: art that looks like what it is ) in order to challenge myself, may like the art, or they may not. They are comfortable enough to make an honest comment about it. Conversely, those that are not familiar with my oeuvre, seem to spontaneously develop a constellation of slightly alarming ailments: Firstly, a nervous facial spasm, accompanied by a pronounced stutter. Secondly, a shuffling gait, where they awkwardly stagger away from the artwork, as if suddenly suffering a deterioration of motor skills. To round off the symptoms, a wholesale deletion of memory seems to take place, until a few moments later, they exit the trance-state, and emerge, blinking and bewildered, with no recollection of having seen the painting in the first place. They then carry on looking at the rest of the show as if nothing has happened. This phenomenon is probably a right-brain / left-brain conflict, brought on by intense academic study, perhaps? The considerable demand on the brain's language centres, means that when faced with a painting of an actual tree, the inevitable cognitive shut-down occurs. This renders the observer temporarily off-line, as signals around the cerebellum are re-routed to take up the short-fall in capacity.
I'll be appearing alongside colleagues from DAPHNE FRANCIS GALLERY, as part of the WITHIN THE LAND show, while upstairs our friends from THE WORKS ARTISTS COLLECTIVE will also be debuting their latest show THE FALL. Venue: Jubilee Trade Centre, Birmingham B5 6ND. A great opportunity to see two prominent groups of Midlands artists in one go..!