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…
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)
Silly blog post title of month. it amused me to write that especially as I just wrote that the future of painting is behind us…a smidgen of irony here.
At 55 years old and with a back catalogue of failed projects, dumb moves and shit jobs behind me (before I shipwrecked on to Academia Island) I have decided to once more ride into the valley of death armed with nothing more than a paintbrush and some blank canvases. Why? Why not everything else is shot to bits so might as well tilt at the greatest windmill of all….the painter of modern life.
I spent the day clearing out the cobwebs in my too often deserted studio and discovering that I had actually painted a few canvases in the past few years. Not many because I remain unconvinced that it an honourable occupation or even a perfectable art..see below. If I am like Will Self trapped in a Guston led Gutenbergian brain then so be it. I think paintings matter. I think they can change the world and that’s it really. Sod the consequences….life too short.
So here the sweepings from the last few years soon to be revealed at Lady Bay in my old schoolfriend Stephe’s front room. Not quite the Tate but you got to start somewhere:-)
Ok so here I am back in the studio at the beginning of the second year of my M.A. by registered project and after a summer of drawing related ‘research’ I am standing in front of a very old work on paper (c.1988) and two new canvases done over the summer in the time not spent researching Frayling’s Categories (which wasn’t much). So what do the canvases have to do with research if anything?
I am struggling already to codify or analyse the works from any kind of methodological perspective. The ideas ’embedded’ in the paintings are intuitive, visceral (acrylic paint applied to canvas) and come from a half-formed naive idea of ‘comic’ forms from looking at various comic and graphic novels and studing Philip Guston’s work in some depth especially his drawings. I did read the book ‘Night Studio’ by Musa Meyer which I remember was quite a harrowing account of how his depressions and rages affected his family ( Musa is his daughter). It did however convince in describing the sheer effort that went into his work.
I suppose if I mined back into other works on him I would find material relating to his genesis of the comic forms that replaced his earlier ‘abstract expressionist’ period. I also own the book ‘Sweeper up after artists’ by Irving Sandler which I was half way through and which is very telling in its depiction of the fraught nature of post Abstract Expressionist careerism in New York in the early 1960’s. But is this research…it is art historical research for sure but unless it impacts on my physical creation of an object could it be said to describe anything but ‘contextual knowledge’. To impact on the creation of an art object surely it has to be more profound than that?
I am just asking questions here as at the start of a difficult journey. Turning ‘intuitions, feelings and observations’ into theoretical research is a hard task. I am not convinced as I start this ‘Studio Diary’ that it at all possible but I may learn something else in the process.
I am standing looking at the works. Day One. I photograph them so as to show the similarity in pieces created nearly twenty years apart and in very different locations and circumstances. Maybe that affects how I create images. Maybe the context is more important than I thought.
I am also awed by the quotation from Dickens that I discover Guston had on his wall, which he held to, about complete devotion to the cause. I have never liked ‘sunday painting’ but never had the means to devote my life to painting and this the reason I have stopped painting for long periods. I found an interesting article online by chance detailing Guston in the studio by Dore Ashton.