Periods of inactivity.

Its a side-affect of having a ‘proper job’ that occasionally I’ll not have time nor inclination to paint. The inability to spend each day advancing the work can, quite often lead to a lack of focus. Unless a kind dealer with his/her head screwed on, who knows a good thing when it slaps them in the face and offers me a considerable advance on future sales…then this situation isn’t going to change anytime soon. During these bouts of inactivity the mind still develops work – you never stop thinking and reasoning and ‘remembering’ experiences that will influence the work once it restarts.

Here is one such result of these remembrances – I drive along the north sea coast daily and am often excited by the changing colours and textures; a magical and untamed spectacle. A couple of weeks back some extreme winds caused the sea to look…well, a lot less fierce than you might imagine: Deep Viridian green with myriad white ‘flecks’ of spume. The memory of that experience survived relatively intact until I was once again able to get into the studio.

Windswept/forblåste (North Sea)

Give up?

I look at a lot of art. I mean A. LOT! Some of it good but most of the art I see in ‘real life’ or on the internet is so mediocre that I often experience fatigue and dissolusionment. Not for making (thankfully) but for looking. If what I’m looking at doesn’t feed my creative soul then perhaps it’s time to finally give up looking at other people’s art? In fairness, I don’t much like looking at my own art. 😉

Inspiration: Otis Jones

I’ve never thought of myself as a minimalist but more of an essentialist

Otis Jones : 3 Circles, One Red (cite: https://www.otisjones.net)

Inspiration: John Zurier

My interest in materials involves looking for the right color and how the surface affects the way light is reflected or absorbed

John Zurier : Icelandic Painting (12 Drops)

North Sea Studies: 01 April 2018

The process of documenting the sea and the sky from life seems so simple and straightforward until I actually try to do it. More often than not, after carting my ‘kit’ to the edge of the cliff before the North Sea, I sit trapped in awe at the majesty of nature and am left impotent by the impossibility of the task. I force myself to work and, astonishingly manage to produce something interesting. Somehow these responses do indeed capture something of the experience of being there.

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The limitations of in-situ painting

Continuing the monochrome analysis of the North Sea, here are some acrylic studies made at source, en plein air, in-situ…etc. My preferred format for these studies is 5″ x 7″ – this size allows me to capture fairly quickly the overriding colour of any given moment. You can see rain spots on these paintings – one of the perils of outdoor painting.

As these sketches attest, it’s important to me that I be in nature when I make these chromatic studies. The subtleties of colour variation cannot be experienced through a car windscreen, from beneath an umbrella and certainly not from a photograph. The glaring issue, of course is that the weather can determine which sea and sky effects I’m able to document. The most dramatic colour variations will often be when the weather is at its most hostile, so must be documented from memory alone.

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Monochromes

This first post is a slight introduction to where I am as an artist at the moment. I won’t go into detail of how my work has led to this point, you just need to accept that it has. Suffice to say that I have been attempting to represent the world around me, in paint, as simply and as purely as possible yet still convey my experience of nature with intensity.

In an effort to further simplify (there’s nothing so complex and complicated as simplicity) I’m developing a raft of ‘monochrome’ paintings drawn from the dominant tonal and/or chromatic value of the North Sea at Cambois at any given time of day (time determined by my availability to go and look at/work from it!) These cardboard studies are early, liberated musings on the concept.

Painting depicting colour of the North Sea at a specific moment
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SK2903/181927
SK2903/181922

The ‘codes’ on each piece (that also inspires their titles) is a simple number string denoting time and date when the works were produced. These ‘strings’ will become more meaningful when ascribed to the in-situ paintings that will form faithful attempts at representing the prevailing tone and colour at any given minute or minutes as I witness those variations.