A current work in progress. The first time I’ve ventured onto canvas in a very long while… And I am rather pleased so far. I am convinced that it isn’t finished, although I feel too scared to add anything to it. I’ll just sit and look at it for a bit longer…. Ah, the heartache of knowing when to stop!
Blue and red feel like home; I cannot escape these god damn colours! Translucent, glowing. Serendipitous bleeding, uncontrolled. And white. White canvas. I don’t want to lose all the white canvas. I need to build up more layers. Carefully and patiently.
Untitled (Catharsis), 2016
This new painting is all about that delicious gap; the white paper. Tension. Mmm.
Untitled (…or Buddleia?)
(I have an issue with naming my work that I have not yet figured out….. I do not want labels and superfluous words getting in the way of the image. I need to come up with a plan.)
A fairly bad photograph of how my easel looks at this very moment in time….
I went back to some old (lacklustre) paintings that needed a little cheering up, things that had never quite felt finished… Some have been greatly improved, I fancy! Some – there is, quite simply, no hope. Into the bin with you.
Always satisfying to be able to rescue something, to bring a painting back to life. Proper pictures of resurrected paintings later this week (she says).
Don’t hold me to that.
Grey Lavender Dusk (2016)
Giving my paintings titles does not come easily. There is no “concept”, no meaning. They are simply beautiful colours, shapes – does a label get in the way of the painting? Will a name remind a viewer of something else, will preconceptions and associations get in the way of seeing the painting as it really is, for it’s own sake?
Rothko’s paintings always seem to have unobtrusive, subtle names. There are an awful lot of untitled and numbered works, and those that simply reference the colours on the canvas.
No over-thought, contrived names here. I would rather spend my time painting. The image matters, not the name.
Current work in progress… I’ve just stopped. Cautious of over-working, will return to it tomorrow. Very happy so far!
I am surrounded by wedding magazines at the moment (guess what’s happening next summer?!) and they are a very peculiar thing. Weddings are peculiar things.
This evening’s painting has been brought to you by whiskey, Marlene Dumas lust, anonymous brides and Avenged Sevenfold.
Page 17 Girl
Inspired by the intense, beautiful, bittersweet and confident Marlene Dumas retrospective at the Tate Modern earlier this year – “The Image as Burden”.
“There is no beauty, if it doesn’t show the terribleness of life.”
Marlene Dumas, 1994
My easel at the moment. Serendipitous dribbles.
Two studies – acrylic paint, 2016
I started this pair of paintings side by side, with the intention of mirroring, a sort of butterfly effect. I ended up spending much more time on the left-hand painting… to its detriment.
I much prefer the more minimalist left hand painting, which took only a few minutes, simple brush strokes, beautiful colours – the paint moved across the paper, bled, arranged itself serendipitously and left a lovely splodge.
How can a couple of minutes work look so much better than half an hour of laboured painting?! And will everyone else see the same as me?
That has always been The Big Question – when to stop painting? When have you over-worked an ruined a once delicate, understated, confident piece of work? How on earth do you know when to stop? I guess it all comes down to intuition. And experience. Practice (and plenty of frustrating mistakes, screwed up sketchbook pages. There’s no going back.)
Stop before you think you need to stop.