This Torso was painted last Saturday evening as a sort of tailpiece of the day.
It was taken from a series of drawings dating around 2005.
Hanging carelessly on the studio wall, me and the painting have eyed one another on a daily basis. Neither of us have said anything.
The task I set myself for today was to confront two 60"x15" panels, decide how to paint the two sisters on the two panels. Hot weather for me does not encourage creativity in me. I worked for some time without success.
Then, late afternoon, this Torso took my attention, it returned me to the 2005 drawings and the fierce painting from last week.
After supper I roughly placed some neat and dilute red oxide primer on the two canvases with a nod in the direction of my selection of drawings from the day, washed up and locked up.
Back at the De La Warr Pavilion we get to see Critical Mass on the roof.
Experienced where land meets sea, there seems a heightened awareness of calamity in Anthony Gormley's Critical Mass.
The trauma of these petrified beings is palpable.
One longs to restore them as in a fairy tale, but it is not possible.
We leave them as we find them, a silent example.
We have also come to hear John Tilbury play Beckett.
I have knowledge of Beckett but I am not a student.
. . . . . a late poem by Samuel Beckett
Go where never before
No sooner there than always there
No matter where never before
No sooner there than always there
This is our evening, it took us where we had never been before.
Tilbury's piano work is extraordinary, the intensity and created atmosphere was unusual.
Tilbury's film . . . . but the clouds, was very moving, powerful in its repetitious simplicity.
(sadly projected in the wrong format)
The last 55" solo piece Worstward Ho was the most difficult, (some people even walked out)
I confess to be baffled, But it will take me back to Beckett, not having read the text, Beckett's novella of the same name, I was ill prepared to grasp the work. I need a copy before the music fades in my mind.
The good news is that this work has been shortlisted for the St Wilfreds open art competition that is organized in association with Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. (Shortlisted means it will be considered for a prize and included in the catalogue, but may not be hung in the Pallant House exhibition.)
The rather monochromatic piece draws on the archaic concept of the 'car' and relates it obtusely to Gericault an the 'Raft of the Medusa'.
Lets hope those good people at Pallant House find a space for it!
The drawing shown could be a bust, it is the most likely candidate from the batch of drawings from yesterday evening.
I would like them to emanate from considerations of self referencing and self awareness, those elements peculiar to humans. More reading around this will help, along with a better understanding of the theory.
I continue to draw - aware of what I do not want - searching for elements that resonate with me.
The recognition of embryonic ideas is as much the skill as is the drawing of them.
Sometimes work is left too quickly or just not understood.
I found this in the archives, from a time when I was looking at dance notation. Notation is a method to record and learn choreography for composer and dancer. There are a number of standard methods that have been devised over the years.
Reflecting on this I made a watercolour that describes an imaginary dance and a notation of my own making.
This was a rich source of idea and sensation to use for painting and revisiting it is a powerful reminder of what all those dance picture could still lead too.
I made this small copper head around 8 yrs ago. I have been looking at it ever since because poses a question that I have not yet answered.
The head, or maybe the face poses the biggest questions and problems for the artist. We see many landscapes treated as abstracts or semi-abstract; flowers, interiors or fairgrounds get treated in a similar way. But the face is another matter for the artist, with perhaps Picasso as a notable exception.
They say 'the question is the answer'
So is this statement above that I call a head a valid statement?
Eight years is quite a while, perhaps it is time to take it off the shelf and test that validity.
I paint the backs of pictures, fit strings and email clients.
Some of this is a chore.
Some is more exciting, more theatre, more happening.
On Thursday I am going to hang the 15 pieces that make up my 'manifestation' series, I expect the aggregate effect to be greater that I have experienced from the individual works thus far. To see the repetition of five cycles on the gallery wall will ramp up the effect considerably. Seeing the work thus assembled, exposed, uncluttered by the domestic is the time to judge its worth.
I am rather looking forward to this, for evaluation is an important part of progress, it is an indicator to the mind about tomorrow.
I found my copy in Tunbridge Wells OXFAM book store, priced at £1.49p.
I bought it immediately.
Every three months or so I pull it out and look at it. I love the book itself, what it contains and what it stood for. Art is about reaction. I would like to celebrate W. J. Stone's message without replicating W. J. Stone.
While at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill visiting a show of drawings I renewed my love affair with the 'vitrine'.