Tuesday, 11 November 2014

London Stuff and Sigmar Polke

The ancient city of London has many charms and treasures and chief among these I name the art galleries at the top of the list. This year London has the most amazing blockbuster art shows to visit and tonight I went to view Sigmar Polke at Tate Modern. It was certainly intriguing and I shall go back a few times to absorb the works. So political, so Germanic! And so very masculine! Hardly the analysis that would win me a prize in Art Theory and Criticism but I will write more about it after my next visits. After viewing this show (and others) I am very inspired to start sketchbooks and small drawings based on my observations of life and culture in London. Lately, I have been made so aware of how crowded this city is becoming. London is rich, deep, majestic but, of late, I've been feeling a different type of tension that isn't entirely comfortable. There is an underlying fragility, tension and confusion that is coming to the surface and I would like to resolve it or to work out what is happening on paper. London was always heavily populated but now commuting on the London Underground is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for that reason. How could I translate these sentiments into small sketchbook statements as did Polke and Malevich? I don't know but it's worth a shot. Some pictures below show a small section of the exhibition and the always dominant, but slightly weird interior of the Tate Modern gallery. I'm tired right now so I won't write any more and my photography might be as tired as my head.

 My favourite of the show. 

  Entrance to the show. 

 A typical early Sigmar Polke 

Turbine Hall

A separate exhibition in the Turbine Hall of Richart Tuttle's work with Fabric.   Not impressed with this. Even with that amount of fabric there was so much more room for massive expression. Nothing compelling about it at all.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Slashed & Trashed!

The picture below is probably the most beautiful on this blog - ever.

It represents a turning point. I am throwing out all the below-par paintings I've done over the past few years, keeping a few behind for the time being. I am changing track and I'm going to be painting and drawing larger works on themes and concepts closer to me. I haven't posted anything for ages and I haven't been scouring my favourite artists' blogs every day.  Recently, every small work I started was junk and I know now something internal was causing this block.  I had to stop and regroup and this happened without any conscious decision on my part - or at least, it seems that way.   I can no longer paint the way I used to which somehow means that from crawling to walking, I missed the running bit and I am now ready to enjoy a long-distance marathon. Surprisingly, without doing any work to take me to the next level, just thinking about art and creating paintings in my head and exploring subjects of interest, I managed to skip a step.  Small formats cannot contain or reveal what I want to convey and I will only work with them to so as not to waste unused boards and paper and maybe to put in a few practice runs and sketches for bigger works.  My head is back where it was when I finished my art degree.

The slashed work has absolutely no value at all and it will be a supreme pleasure to get rid of all this junk. I might even close this blog and start a new one with the new work. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

"Slashed and Trashed"

Saturday, 30 August 2014

New York at Night - Speed Experiment II

I haven't been painting lately - long, very uninteresting story behind that. However, today I decided to get out of the fog and just start up with something 'small'. I have loved the photo that this work is based on for so long I decided to paint it this afternoon before the impetus died. I thought it would be a little too complicated as I haven't painted for so long but it wasn't.  I guess I had stared at it for so long that there were no strange corners.  (It's frightening how quickly one's skills level drops). I somehow breezed through it and, again, even though the paper was slightly too rough to accommodate all the fine brushwork I was aiming for, I am happy with it.

"New York City Blurred II"
Gouache on Watercolour Paper - 8.5" x 9" (Approx.)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sunday Sketches

I've often wondered how those brilliant (mostly American) illustrators were able to convey form and expression on a face with just cross-hatching so I tried it here. It does obviously convey more detail than charcoal ever could with a similar technique, but lots more practice is needed. Again, the photographs just don't show these small works properly. Maybe I should get a digital camera that can take good black and white shots. The paper is a creamy white in both sketches, but I just couldn't adjust them to look like the originals.  Not a problem really.

Portrait Sketch Pencil on Cartridge Paper - 9.5" x 7.5" (Approx.) 

Portrait Sketch Pencil on Cartridge Paper - 7" x 7.5" (Approx.)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Charcoal Portrait - Melancholy Series

I haven't posted any work for ages and the reasons are too boring to write about but I have been mulling over and experimenting with the seductive medium of charcoal recently. Unfortunately the paper I am using is not fine enough to hold the fine cross-hatching but I am not running out to the art materials store like I usually do when something isn't quite right. The photography seems to have picked up some blotchy bits which are not apparent in the original even though I didn't use any flash photography.

"Portait - Melancholy Series"
Charcoal on Cartridge Paper - 16.5" x 13" (Approx.)