I was reading a review of my friend Pete Astor’s new album ‘Spilt Milk‘ on Fortuna Pop..sounds great I have to wait until birthday for my vinyl copy. I have the Mr Music 7″ and both covers excellent by artist Matthew Sawyer.
Anyway I digress. In the review the reviewer said Pete had had a Mike Yarwood moment after years of trying out various ‘disguises’ he had returned to Richard Hell/Velvets jangly indie popdom and it suited him. Well as I same age and had my share of ‘guises’ I beginning to feel same about painting and drawing.
Confronted by a wall of blank canvases ( coincidentally the name of this blog 🙂 I return to square one too…
I looked out my old Degree thesis ( yes I still have it and my essays as marked by John A. Walker and Bette Spectorov). Which was on Howard Hodgkin who my biggest influence at Hornsey. It wasn’t a great thesis ..I left it too late to do a good job and it blew my chance of a first :-(.
Here a largish painting in oil on board from 1979 I think I can see there traces of mark-making, Hoyland and John Walker who big at time and Howard Hodgkin in use of colour and form.
I am deliberately starting slow and small this time as last year’s paintings tended in opposite direction. I also going to move away from total abstraction and painting over the ‘1977’ series from last year which just didn’t work.
The location is the lovely house of my old friends the Hitchmen. I look forward to welcoming people to the front room which will be 80s themed with music from that era as that what I listening to when painting the pictures :-).
Indeed the series of new abstracts take the Creation Record sleeves art of the mid 1980s as their starting point. Series are then titled 1977, 1985, etc…
Record Sleeve for Creation Records 1985 more here:
Documented experiences of the second wind go back at least 100 years, when it was taken to be a commonly held fact of exercise.The phenomenon has come to be used as a metaphor for continuing on with renewed energy past the point thought to be one’s prime, whether in other sports, careers, or life in general.
Thanks to my fellow studio ‘inmate’ Zenon I being provided with plenty of background reading. Today’s tome ‘What is Abstraction’ by Andrew Benjamin (1996). Interesting but very philosophically dense read which really only gets going when he responds to W. J. Mitchell’s attack on Greenburg. Good overview of Greenburg’s near total dominance of the field and some interesting painters at end..David Reed and Jonathan Lasker included which, as it 1996, confirms that I missed at least ten years of abstract painting and theory maybe more.
I also picked up on an excellent short article on the Diebenkorn show at R.A. by Ian McKeever which chimed very well with Benjamin’s observations.
It is only now that I made the connection between music and painting…which some 30 years too late as the cover to ‘She Comes From the Rain’ effortlessly did this in 1985. As I trying to be in studio actually painting as much as possible..as opposed to thinking about it..I been building soundtracks for my painting. Today I looked back at 1980 and took the above corresponding sounds for this week..last week it was 1977.
Fascinating to look back at 1980 as it was second year of my degree at Hornsey and I was drumming (allegedly) for art school band ‘Damp Jungle’ then. Music seemed pretty exciting that year with Teardrop Explodes, Birthday Party and Orange Juice all issuing seminal 45s :-).