Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Road to Johnsville...

In a separate body of work to the still lifes of late, I've finally got around to using the previously-taken sets of photographs of local roadside 'double black lines' (see old posts in the dim & distant) as intended, as source material for investigations into modernist-type image-making, concentrating on process (explicity so, as an illustration of the temporal nature of both the 'work of the work of art' & also the act of looking), mark-making, surface, etc. Studying the excellent publication 'Jasper Johns: an Allegory of Painting 1955-1965' & in particular the wonderful & fulsome reproductions therein, I've been influenced & inspired by & thus attempted something along the lines of Johns's ever-fascinating mark-making endeavours using pre-existing, 'already known' images as the beginnings of such. Gradually, it's beginning to make more sense (from never having worked from photographic sources previously) & perhaps is a line of work it might be worth pursuing, possibly involving a return to the sources of the images to obtain more direct, immediate visceral information from which to work...

(all drawings 30x21cm, graphite &/or plastic & putty erasers - no.2 also utilises charcoal)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

29th October

The same composition (well, almost, allowing for a little light tweaking of position) explored from another angle, as a variation on the habitual 'front-on' approach & removing one of the objects from the backdrop of the blue field.

graphite & watercolour/30x22cm

27th October

Exploring another composition of spatial relationships


21st October

Three new quinces, exploring the colour journey from green to gold

graphite & watercolour/30x22cm

14th October


11th October

Set up the quinces 'contre-jour' for a change - fascinating to observe their changing forms as the sun moved in the sky & to appreciate just how fugitive 'appearances' can be, just how magically light describes form. Impossible to successfully capture, however, even when such a drawing as this attempts some form of synthesis of progressive states of illumination.


7th October

Two new quinces to model, same concerns as previously/ever.

graphite & watercolour/30x22cm

29th September

A tonal exploration of 3 closely-spaced quinces against the background of a packet of tea, apparently acquired in Minsk (can't help thinking of 'Barton Fink')...


22nd September

Exploring a further, more complex composition of spatial & tonal relationships.


21st September


18th September

Tea pot & quince


16th September

A change of object if not subject matter, this time exploring the spatial & tonal relationships of a selection of pebbles collected from the beach, & attempting a minimalist aesthetic.


15th September

The colours presented by the quinces seen against the background of a bright, rich turquoise-blue envelope were just too appealing not to want to explore in colour too.
Still looking closely at Uglow, & the presence of Cezanne is a given - took recent advantage of the National Gallery book sale to obtain the catalogue of last year's 'Cezanne in Britain' exhibition, which was a profound pleasure to attend, to be able to see the paintings & watercolours themselves & appreciate the wonderful touches & subleties that went into bringing the work to life was indeed an education.

graphite & watercolour/30x22cm

Here's another Uglow, his frequently employed blue backdrop (with geometric divisions) again providing an obvious reference & inspiration ('Two Pears' 1990 from the previous post also features a deep blue 'wall' behind).

Euan Uglow 'Chinese Pear' 1990

14th September

Gradually taking a more tonal approach to the subject whilst still attempting to 'dynamise' the space between the objects.


Here are a couple of examples of Uglow's work which I've been studying & are providing obvious inspiration: Andrew Forge, indeed, writes on the first painting of the gap between the two pears being "charged with energy".

Euan Uglow 'Two Pears' 1990

Euan Uglow 'Two Pears' 1998

13th September

As before, attempting once more to establish some form of 'charge' in the space between the closely-related objects. Perhaps quinces might be 'the opposite of tomato'?!


9th September


Also collected a few quinces from the garden &, studying the paintings of Euan Uglow at the time, set up a pair in close proximity, considering the space between & the background composition.


8th September


2nd September

I much prefer to draw & paint still life in natural light, but, given the subject matter in this case thought it might be an idea to incorporate the Chinese lantern into the composition & use it as the light source.


1st September

Presenting the first 2 examples of a series of recent still life drawings & watercolours, the subject of these one being a small pale blue-grey Japanese teapot & cups, the lower half of which are unglazed.


graphite & watercolour/30x22cm

Rebranding 'The Life Aesthetic...'

Enough, already, with the cyber-procrastination, the non-blogging, not updating, etc.
The decision taken to rebrand the blog formerly known as 'The Life Aesthetic..' (which did actually continue, despite the lack of posts descriptive of & pertaining to) seems the perfect opportunity to breathe a little life back into this moribund resource, the cyber arm of aesthetic & cultural operations.
Thus, 'The Opposite of Tomato', which has been for the better part of the last 5 years my all-time favourite question. Overheard being asked by a Liverpudlian child, to its mother, & seeming to present the philosophical conundrum par excellence, it's been something deemed worthy of almost constant pondering: indeed, such might be said to be a prerequisite of 'the life aesthetic' & the ever-vigilant state of consciousness & apprehension this modus operandi itself requires.
'The opposite of tomato' could indeed be just about anything, of course, dependant on context or whatever, but somehow it seems the answer must lie out there in the great space of culture, & perhaps more specifically art of a visual nature...anyhoo, whatver might be subsequently posted here is intended to in some way address this question (as indeed has everything previously posted). Here goes...