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. 😉
While researching Otis Jones for the recent ‘Inspiration’ post, I stumbled upon this great resource full of interviews with contemporary painters. Head over to Copenhagen Contemporary to check it out.
I’ve never thought of myself as a minimalist but more of an essentialist
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.