Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Formulating an Image of Integrity - More Sketches

Some small sketches/ideas for new paintings I have been experimenting with over the last week or so. I don't think there's too much to say about them at the moment other than they are attempts to combine several layers of source imagery in one image, whilst retaining some sort of integrity in the object as a whole. I want to see if multiple layers can be used without having the overall painting fragment in an overtly postmodern way.

The two images above are oil on board (roughly 40x25 cms) and the one below is a pen drawing on a print of an illumination from a Hebrew text in the British Library (Leviathan).

Contrary to what I said last week I am also continuing to work on the larger paintings as well...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Back in the Studio

I'm back in the studio after the Christmas pause, and trying to reestablish my practice. It's strange how even a short break can make you feel quite detached from your own paintings, and you have to reacquaint yourself with them. Sometimes, the interruption causes an unfamiliarity that is never overcome, and you have to almost begin again, at least conceptually.
Here's an image of one of the new large paintings, which is still in its early stages:

 After working for a couple of days on this since the new year I've ground to a halt with it. It feels like a very mechanical labour which I feel quite detached from. It's led me to question the rational behind these single object paintings - what is really being added to the objects depicted? I feel that perhaps there needs to be more of a chance or responsive element to them.

I've started making some more watercolour sketches to try out ideas, such as these based on antique helmets:

The language is deliberately more painterly, and I think I'm attempting to re-understand the objects by depicting them less literally (literalness = deadness sometimes).
I'm also working with the idea of combining or overlaying several subjects in the same picture space - I'm not sure yet if this will be successful, but it feels like a positive direction.

I'm working on quite a few small pieces at once, moving from one to the other as necessary. This also helps with drying times. Over the next week or so I'll try to put up a few images of developing works.