A few ingredients:
1. Flying visit to Louvre to see the Giotto exhibition
2. A box of crayons lurking in bottom of overloaded bag
3. A fascinatingly textured East Coast placemat
4. An empty quiet carriage
5. A doodle to try out the crayons on the interestingly textured placemat, gradually taking on the form of a Giotto inspired face: those odd grey-green shadows emerging from the under painting.
Not quite the same effect with wax crayons. But technical and aesthetic deficiencies compensated for by murmurs of appreciation and admiration from the stewards passing to and fro.
This must be what it’s like to do chalk portraits on pavements.
The stewards think it’s wonderful. But I have to say, Giotto is in fact quite a bit better.
My ongoing fascination with the ordinary everyday is now particularly focussing on abnormal normality and issues of collaboration and “collaboration” and boundaries and perspectives and contexts and identity (another ongoing parallel theme in a lot of work over the last five years).
And with all this thinking and trying to make sense of ideas floating on the periphery of consciousness, I keep doing a mad dash for materials to hand (in this case an old portable box of oils for location work found lurking in a corner at home) and then doing a yet another self portrait.
It’s most odd. I’m sure there’s a connection but I don’t yet know what.
Tidying up. Found some crayons. Found a mirror without any light. Just what was needed.
With two shows of what effectively may be seen as digital/mixed media conceptualised landscapes currently up, is this grabbing oil paint on arrival in the studio, and just painting what I see of the face reflected back to me, some kind of counter-reaction?
On the point of scuttling out back to car and decided I had time for a quick oil painting.
Placed materials and gilt wax on floor, grabbed two brushes, four colours and some turps.
Did an agonizingly unflattering but rewarding portrait of self.
Is this a return to #adailyselfreflection?
I have an exhibition starting this weekend. It’s in a relatively small room adjacent to a larger dining area and bar at The Reliance in Leeds.
It’s a complete contrast to the white wall environment of my other current exhibition at Redbrick Mill in Batley, where glossy immaculate digitally reconstructed urban landscapes adorn the space.
The Reliance show is not exhibiting final resolved pieces. It’s a small intimate room with dark green walls lending itself to a variety of small works on paper so I’m grabbing this opportunity to do something I’ve never done before (except online through this blog): to show progression of exploration of an idea through working drawings and experiments.
Will it ‘work’? I hope so, obviously. But I don’t know. It’s a risk, showing “unfinished” work, evolving ideas. But I want to do it. People always seem to love looking through my sketchbook work, so it’s about time I put up the ideas process, I think.
I’ve been in the studio every spare second this week. When I’ve not been driving the backstreets of south Leeds in search of target material.
I’ve got two solo shows coming up in April and there’s much to be done. I’m now in the Zone of Making, a very nice place to be. Interrupted for the next few days by a trip away but I’ve packed a load of materials in my hand baggage.
I will not be sidetracked.