Second Wind: Three 4'x4' acrylic on canvas March/April 2015
Third Space Studio April 15th 2015
Well I finally made it back to painting in what must be the most convoluted way possible. To start painting again don’t go via my route. Seven years teaching web design in academia, a fine art M.A. in art research (through drawing) then a abandoned attempt to do a Creative Writing M.A. Oh and then two months sorting out what the hell I was doing in painting in the first place (the Archive)
All of this so that I finally can go into the studio in mid-March 2015 and stare at a blank wall and wonder what the hell it all about….
It seems like a very long way round to arrive back where I started. I studied fine art painting at Hornsey College of Art in 1978-1981. My first love was painting not poetry or songwriting. I was ‘good at art’ at school. I was offered a place at the Royal College in 1981 on painting M.A. which was my dream. I wanted to be the new David Hockney….I almost did it but Margaret Thatcher took away the grant funding and my working-class parents could not afford the £9K, even then, fees.
I have always despised the Tories ever since. I ploughed on and re-applied to the Royal in 1985 (see this post in archive). this application was the high water mark of my early abstraction. I never got back to this level until today. It has taken 30 years to be able to paint full time if only for a couple of months. I am not a part-time painter.
The paintings in the posts above are my finding my way again after all this time. I naively aimed to be the best painter in England between 1981 and 1985……right now I’m just happy to get a second chance. I was however always a serious abstract painter…and that I remain. I dedicate these paintings to my Father who would have been 83 last Monday. I call these paintings ‘second wind’ for an explanation see poem here:
Back in the studio on a beautiful sunny day. Painted over the ‘Suit of Nettles’ “illustrations” after photographing them so I can create a single print of that work. So I have 12 x 2 feet square canvases to work on.
I also tried out a small box of chalk coloured soft pastels and this produced the three drawings above. The titles random or joking for instance ‘Welbeck’s Revenge’ celebrates the Arsenal’s win over Man U and no I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Gray and never will.
A good start and I hope I keep momentum up until Lady Bay show on 16th/17th May (and F.A. cup final 30th May :-). Last year’s Lady Bay was unforgettable as we came from behind to beat Hull:-)
Key Quote for the day:
Action is the foundational key to all success.
i.e. just do it stop thinking about doing it …..
So after 40…yes 40 years (I started at the tender age of 16 in 1975) as an infrequently practicing artist I find myself finally with a studio and time to paint so as of next Monday there no more excuses….
Artworks 1975 – 2000 ARCHIVE here
What will it look like? Well going by the last completed canvas above from May 2014 probably a bit cartoony, a bit abstract, a bit colourful….somewhere along the fault line between Contemporary British Abstraction (see show on now in London poster below ) and a crazed version of Disney trapped in a hunting lodge…so think David Lynch and rabbits…paint…it’s all about the paint..stupid….
So her it is or there it was and now it is or almost now …or something….whir..dribble…splat..thunk….
Read Andrew Parkinson’s piece on the show here Why Abstraction Now PDF
1985-8 London abstract work used as covers for The Weather Prophets band.
These the only three pieces of work this year and they were all submitted.
The selectors took the two drawings..have to work harder on paintings 🙂
The full list of exhibitors here: http://nottinghamcastleopen.com/
Bit of a shock to system this. I knew my artistic output had ‘slowed’ but as I can only find one canvas and two drawings from the whole last year it not slow it slithering to a stop.
Mostly the result of the gradual wind down of the Multimedia course and its attendant crap ( not from students I would like to make clear) and the failure of NTU SAD to recognise anything else I did..and an attempt to bury me in graphic design…
I did not have much time to paint I was too busy trying to save my job until I gave up trying and did something I enjoy instead i.e. creative writing which fabulous…and such a relief at least for a year….I due to return in June 2015..we shall see…
Always happens around now..taught content ends (in this case so did the course) and I manage to get some quality time in the studio.
Slightly different this year as my future isn’t what it used to be. Can’t say more for now as things have started to move in a certain direction.
Meanwhile trying to get some paint on canvas and some writing done in studio.
Here the first coloured drawing from a couple of weeks back and a new three part 12′ x 4′ canvas.
This connects directly with my mid to late 1980’s work…..especially the Record Sleeve paintings.
Plus ca change…
The Moogee show ready for taking to Lady Bay for the weekend. This is my third time in the Lady Bay show. First time was in 2003 just after I had moved here and was a kind of retrospective. Then again in 2005 (I think) when I showed in the Church Hall and revealed the Curse of the Moogee.
Now it is going to be all Moogee in one form or another culminating in the M.A. illustrations for James Elkins.
I have decided to go with an all black and white theme as the room is decorated that way so it kind of makes sense.
The show starts Saturday 12-6pm and Sunday 12-6pm. Look forward to seeing some of you there :-). Woof.
I am showing here in my oldest friend…almost as old as me ..from school Stephe Hitchman’s house : The house overlooking the allotments 11
Mark Green (Drawing workshops) Hannah Hitchman (Illustrations) Shaun Belcher (Illustrations)
Further details here: http://www.ladybayarts.org.uk/festival-2014.html