Tuesday, April 26, 2016

White Pears #27



'White Pears #27'
oil on canvas/16″ x 20″/April 2016
Continuing with the Edmund de Waal-inspired compositional device of placing some of the observed objects behind a translucent ‘screen’ (of tracing paper), this latest painting displays a distinct split between upper and lower levels, those on the upper horizontal plane unscreened and those on the lower behind and appearing out of focus, but no less keenly seen. In the representation of both, and over the entire picture plane, of course, paint as manipulated material stuff is emphasised as such as much as it assumes ‘object-form’ in the description of the whitewashed, re-modelled, hand-finished pears and the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the grounds upon and against/behind which they sit and appear.
 
This one might have failed more than some of the others in the series to date…
 


(detail)

(detail)

(detail)

Sunday, April 17, 2016

White Pears #26 (Going Further to de Waal)


'White Pears #26'
oil on canvas/16″ x 20″/April 2016
Here’s the latest painting off the easel, ploughing the familiar furrow and exploring that same Edmund de Waal-influenced compositional device of most recent development of placing some of the objects before and others behind a translucent screen (of  tracing paper), on this occasion weighting things three-two towards the latter. A little more than has been the case recently, the brushwork on both the ground and the ‘unfocussed’ pears is thicker/sketchier, more expressive of the materiality of the medium (paint as paint), more closely approaching the manner of the representation of those objects in front of the paper screen, those hand-finished remodelled pears that are observed and experienced as being palpably so.
 

(detail)

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

White Pears #25


'White Pears #25'
oil on canvas/16″ x 20″/April 2016
One of the more ‘harder-won’ images of recent production, this latest painting involved a fair degree of putting on and scraping back off before it came to this point of resolution – but, of course, it is all about the struggle, as I was sagely advised at university.
 
As introduced in the previous example, the image content of this painting also utilises and further explores the compositional device of placing two of the observed objects behind a screen of translucent paper in order that they appear blurred whilst those placed before the screen are seen in clear focus, visibly present rather than in something of a fugitive state, in the manner of the arrangements of objects in Edmund de Waal‘s installation ‘A Thousand Years’ for example. It is very interesting to hear de Waal speak of such matters during the course of his being featured on the compelling BBC TV series ‘What Do Artists Do All Day?’, of looking at objects for such a long time and/or with such intensity that they come to appear, or reappear to memory, blurred, out of focus, and of how much more powerful they can seem as a consequence, that not being able to get one’s hands or eyes on the object does not necessarily lessen their presence or impact. Given the amount of time this small group of objects, the whitewashed pears, has been composed in various configurations, and observed, actively, with great concentration, to be represented in paint, it perhaps seems appropriate that at least some of them should have reached a state of shifting out of focus…


(detail)

(detail)

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

More Pears in Progress…

 


The next painting, in progress, again the whitewashed remodelled model pears as subject-object matter and continuing with the Edmund de Waal-inspired compositional device of taking some of the objects out of focus, utilising a tracing paper ‘screen’ behind which to place two of the pears, on this occasion reverting to the portrait-format canvas, placing one of the models on the upper horizontal plane.


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

White Pears #24 (Going to de Waal…)



‘White Pears #24’
oil on canvas/20″ x 16″/April 2016
Continuing with the project of actively contemplating the whitewashed re-modelled model pears as have been exclusively this year’s subject-object matter to date, placed upon a white horizontal surface (with another ‘framing’ above) and observed against a white vertical plane (subject to the fall of shadow upon), on this particular occasion employing for a little variety, a compositional device/effect that might well be said to pay specific homage to something similar utilised by Edmund de Waal in certain of his installations, with objects placed both before and behind a translucent surface that forms an element of the display (cabinets or vitrines in de Waal’s case).
 
Here, a sheet of suitably semi-transparent tracing paper was taped to the underside of the upper of the two shelves about midway across its depth to achieve this ‘blurring’ of two of the model pears placed behind such a ‘screen’, enough of their form visible to suggest their inherent ‘pearness’, with ‘highlights’ occurring where the objects and the reverse of the sheet of tracing paper touched. The other three objects are obviously placed in front of the paper, near the edge of the shelf, the greater physicality with which they are painted analogous to their relative and apparent proximity (whilst the two behind the tracing paper also retain a degree of ‘mark-madeness’ that is intended to suggest the certain quality of unresolved fugitiveness with which they are observed).
 



(detail)

(detail)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

White Pears #23


‘White Pears #23’
oil on canvas/20″ x 16″/March 2016
Been a bit tardy in blogging this one, having brought it to this state of resolution last Sunday, but (re)presented here is the most recent finished painting off the easel, the composition as previewed in the previous post in its underpainted condition.
 

(detail)

(detail)


Monday, March 21, 2016

Another on the Easel…



Presenting the latest composition in its acrylic wash underpainted state, on this occasion arranging four of the whitewashed model pears together in close-knit nestling/jostling Morandi-esque fashion on the lower horizontal plane and just a solitary one above.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

White Pears #22


'White Pears #22'
20" x 16"/oil on canvas/March 2016

As featured in a state of progression in the previous post, (re)presenting the finished painting of the latest composition, brought to an impastoed resolution over the course of the weekend with The Fall’s ‘The Real New Fall LP (formerly ‘Country on the Click’)’ and My Bloody Valentine’s ‘m b v’ for accompaniment.


(detail)

(detail)


Monday, February 29, 2016

White Pears #21


'White Pears #21'
oil on canvas/20" x 16"/February 2016

Completed over the course of pre- and post-lunch painting sessions on Saturday afternoon (nobly foregoing the not inconsiderable temptation to attend the competing attraction of the local Gresford Athletic v Holywell Town football match – congrats to the mighty Colliers on their late winning goal – in order to devote the time to artistic pursuits, as one must, of course), (re)presented here is the latest production off the easel, as previewed last Thursday in its in-progress state. The subject-object pears have been worked up to a loose, textured finish (somewhere between the pre- and post-New Year painting technique) in order to preserve an attempt at a certain ‘freshness’ of facture, although they’re no less considered and actively observed, with minor adjustments made to the horizontal (particularly) and vertical planes upon/against and ‘tactile space’within which they reside.

All this activity was performed to the aural accompaniment of The Caretaker’s albums ‘An Empty Bliss Beyond the World’ and then ‘Patience (After Sebald)’, the former with its genesis in samples from old pre-war dance hall 78rpm records and the latter, which serves as the soundtrack to Grant Gee’s documentary film of the same title, from Shubert’s ‘Winterreiss’, each source then subjected to a process of sonic manipulation and degradation (in part utilizing the surface crackles from original vinyl discs) that allows disembodied fragments of the originals to emerge from and then become consumed again by a dusty haze of electronic white-noise, an ever-fascinating listen, both haunting and bleak and yet warm and human, a wonderful mix of the digital and analogue, and an excellent soundtrack to the old painting practice.


(detail)

(detail)

Later, to celebrate the completion of another painting, our favourites Atletico emerged triumphant from the Madrid derby, a fine end to the day indeed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Work in Progress...


 

Breaking with tradition here to present an image of a painting in unfinished, in-progress state, with this particular composition involving not a change in direction but at least orientation, and canvas size, to accommodate the ‘two level’ idea proposed and explored in a few photographic studies blogged recently