DRAWING OBSERVATIONS

I have spent quite a bit of time of late making drawings from artists including Titian, Rubens and Michelangelo and have been fascinated by the nature of their drawings: the role drawing played in their art,
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Titian on my mind

The transitions of colour at the edges of contours for example are most noticeable for the sheer amount of adjustment and also insertion of extra pieces of landscape or body to move the rhythm of the picture in evermore satisfying arabesques
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Painting and Paternoster

The art world has always been and always will be decadent - merely a frond on society's fern. Until we solve our sociological problems we will not have a home for advanced painting that amounts to anything more than a tent in Paternoster square.
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Stephen Lewis's new sculpture

...The work raises some interesting questions about how artists respond to a specific site brief, and - in a profound way - how we perceive space in an artwork - in this case through three-dimensional form - and how colour can define our sense of distance.
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World Trade Centre remembered

This was one of a series of drawings made at sunrise in a studio on the 91st floor in the World Trade Centre. Although made as abstract, I can't help but notice the plunging verticals that were so dramatic to see from the upper parts of the towers. This post is simply to remember that experience and is dedicated to the rememberence of this day and those who lost loved ones in those tragic events.

New work

These are the first works to emerge as a sort of consolidated series of "paintings" . They are all 40 cm square and made on pre-stretched canvas - I usually work on unstretched canvas. The surface has more variety perhaps than previous work with more use of transparent washes - possibly a knock on effect of printmaking. I am also moving into a looser handling and more open-ended drawing than in recent work. They are formative but something is going on that interests me. So that is a good thing..

Robert Welch show at The Eagle Gallery, London

...What I find most satisfying in the work though is the way colour gets across the surface. Something that abstract painters often suffer with is the centre / edge transition, so much so at times that you can almost draw an imaginary line 1 inch or so inside the perimeter of a work to find the real field of interest.
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Hoyland show at Beaux Arts

There were some decent works on show with his now clear signature style of drawing. Looking across the show I felt there was a generalised choreography at play at times though, with more concern for presenting this look than questioning how the surfaces can reveal the colour in a more expressive and also a more inventive way.
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Screenprinting

Screenprinting is a challenging medium to work in I have found. It traditionally lends itself to imagery and has firmly routed itself as a medium that is at home in graphic design. Imagery is potent communicator - especially when information is required
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Art and/or design?

I have been working this past week at The Print Studio Cambridge on a series of new mono prints. These have given me an opportunity to explore screen printing and this in turn has provided a new experience of using the potential of transparency in my paintings. I will post some images and a further blog in due course. One offshoot of the work though was -perhaps - a more general  thought about the link or absence of a link between Art and Design, also their inherent characteristics. I began to wonder when does Art stop being Art and become Design? Can it change in this way or are the two discrete at all times? Also what is pictoriality? When do you know you are looking at a work of art? More to follow..

Dialogues

..These colour relationships are part of the internal dialogue of a painting. Colour can either cut through as a force in a work , or, occupy space as one . Cutting through means it has a direction - a start and an end; I often try to get 'across' a painting from one side to another - usually early on. It helps to assert a large scale from the off.
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Manet's Perfect Pitch

...His work is spartan and sumptuous in equal measure. It outflanks you and continues to induce gasps to this day. These last works are heartbreakingly beautiful, they give you confidence to listen to your own innermost voice as they are spoken with such a humane voice in themselves. They demand an honesty in a viewer as they too were created with such an unfaltering spirit - all the more astonishing in light of his failing health at the time. What more can you ask of an artist?
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When to stop

I concluded the true painter can be picked out if they are more interested in how they stop. For when one stops a painting - especially an abstract one - an artist is drawing a line in the sand and is saying, this has moved from making to made. The decision to stop throws up a whole area of intrigue and theory fodder in equal measures. What is going on in each individual when they make that concluding decision… Done?
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French Curves

..These cartoons often originate from drawings that use the French curve as their guide; the outlines to the forms have a set pace, they cut through space in a neat parabola. All parts are adjusted against this compact guiding element. Much design work that is screen based in this vein also works from this blueprint.
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Tattoo 'Art'

...I wondered what marked the real art our from the faux, the best work from the average, what made the "real deal" as they say, just that?
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Kenneth Noland - a few thoughts

His most recent work shows how much you can get out of so little by paying such attention to the fundamentals of picture making, namely colour, surface and scale - add placement and touch to this and you have a set of parameters creating an amazingly protean situation in which to make art
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The blink of an eye.

It's difficult to be a painter who works with colour in this day and age, especially in Britain. We are a literary culture for one thing - we like things spelled out , explained and increasingly packaged in some sort of "meaningful" way. And as a consequence colour is regarded in highly subjective ways
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ARTWORKS OPEN

Showing a couple of recent collages in the Inaugural Barbican Arts Group Trust Artworks Open. Work is under 30cms square. Artworks Project Space, 114 Blackhorse Lane E17 6AA. PV Thursday 11th June 6-8pm. Open from 11-25 June Tue-Fri 2pm - 8pm, Sat and Sun 12-6pm (closed Mon).

 

NOT ALL IT SEEMS

There's a Palladio show in the Royal Academy which offers a real insight into the conception of architectural space that has informed so much of our sense of the logic of buildings
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