Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What's the Worst That Could Happen..?

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

The last of the pears having been consumed, TOoT returns to the ongoing 'recycling project' of drawings processed from found aluminium drinks can 'roadkill', the depicted subject/object once more having been accidentally reconfigured into a state of 'readymade Cubism' whereby various aspects of its original three-dimensional form are now (re)present(ed) within a single compressed plane.


PJ Harvey 'Songs From the City, Songs From the Sea' & 'Is This Desire?'
Hanne Hukkelberg 'Rykestrasse 68'
Charlotte Gainsbourg '5:55'
Cat Power 'You Are Free'

Monday, September 28, 2009

Last Pears Standing

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

And so to the last surviving pair of pears, the drawing processed against the process of natural decay & very much so against the fading of the evening light as it dwindled quickly towards darkness, hence the darker forms of the objects as they became less defined as solids, gradually transforming more into silhouettes of a diffuse-edged nature as the remaining light hugged & illuminated the pears' outlines.
Again, the attempt is towards some form of positively-charged tension in the spatial arrangement & overall composition.


Portishead 'Third'

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pears #9 & 10

As the number of pears dwindles further, so the endeavour continues to establish some form of 'charge' in the narrow space between the objects thus positioned: not necessarily Bachelard's poetics of space, perhaps, but some form of positive, sensual energy.

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

A very slight shift to the left in the viewing position complicates the spatial relationship a little, in that, visually, the pears both appear to touch & yet remain slightly apart, in an attempt to 'dramatize' & 'sensualize' the space & its tension yet more...

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm


Jesus & Mary Chain 'Psychocandy' & 'Darklands'
The Triffids 'In the Pines'
Elliott Smith 'XO'

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pears #8

Today the opposite of tomato is Accrington Stanley v Crewe Alexandra*

Three again being the magic number, &, in keeping with the sequence of pear drawings thus far, endeavouring with the composition of the objects to achieve some form of positive charge in the spatial intervals between.

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

* How fitting that the Friday professional football fixture list should be devoted to none other & nothing but Accrington Stanley versus Crewe Alexandra, one for the old romantics, names with an alternative glamour all their own, redolent of the game's history & local, grassroots appeal: the very antithesis of, & welcome antidote to, the over-hyped excesses of the so-called 'Champions'' League (excepting the wonderful Barcelona, of course) & the self-aggrandizing, money-corrupted fatuousness of the English Premiership, characterized by, for instance, & to name but a random example (ahem), 'Newton Heath' & their branded ilk. Proper football, indeed, & a veritable goal-fest to boot, resulting in a 5-3 victory for the hosts: cockles duly warmed.
On something of a related matter, what a pleasure to read Martin Kelner's fulsome praise for - following the delight of viewing - the third & alas final instalment of Jonathan Meades' aptly titled (far too short) series 'Off-Kilter', that great man's offbeat, opinionated tour of Scotland, featuring on this particular occasion those small towns &/or (merely) names (Cowdenbeath, East Fife, Raith, Albion Rovers, St Mirren, Queen of the South, as evocative as Accrington Stanley & Crewe Alex to an impressionable youth) scattered across the central belt that exist to the world at large, outside of their own communities, for only those few hours on Saturday afternoons when they occur amongst the football results lists & on the pools' coupons: as ever, informing, entertaining & thought-provoking, & taking well-aimed potshots at more than a few sacred cows (contemporary top level footballers not excepted) - essential stuff.


Bjork 'Homogenic'

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pears #7

Today the opposite of tomato is the fine line between Mary-Louise Parker & Merrilees Parker

Suddenly, there's only half the pears there used to be...

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm


homemade Nancy Sinatra compilation

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pears #6

A slight shuffle in the position of the 6 pears as featured immediately previously, again (indeed, as habitually) observed 'contre jour', but not on this occasion also drawing against the light as it faded into dusk, instead enjoying the luxury & freshness of a morning session which brought intermittent sunlight, with the drawing process (as record of time spent looking & representing) thus attempting to capture something of this aspect of the development of the light conditions into the progression of its own temporality.

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Note how the developing marks upon the surface of one of the pears form an approximation of facial features, thus lending something of a 'portrait' aspect to proceedings within the context of representing the particular forms & features of the individual objects within the general group.

Note also how something similarly 'facial' occurs within the subtle colour & tonal transitions of the keenly observed & wittily captured representation of the form & surface of the pear in Euan Uglow's monumental 'Fruit Pyramid'...

(image from 'Euan Uglow: the Complete Paintings', Yale, 2007)

Taking the theme further, & into the realm of anthropomorphism, one recalls Magritte's 'Lyricism', painted in 1947 during the period of the artist's 'Renoiresque', 'Impressionist' stylistic departure,

(image taken from Suzi Gablik, 'Magritte', T&H 'World of Art' series, 1985)

& an earlier visual memory yet, of Daumier's caricature of King Louis Philippe, satirically representing the monarch's decline in public popularity, his head gradually transforming into a pear!

Honoré Daumier 'Les Poires', pencil, 1831


Portishead 'Dummy' & 'Portishead'

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pears #5

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Returning to 'the joy of six', in numerical terms of pears...


Cocteau Twins 'Lullabies to Violaine' vol.1 (disc 2)
Low 'Things We Lost in the Fire'
The Smiths 'The Queen is Dead'
& 'Strangeways, Here We Come'

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pears #4

Today the opposite of tomato is 'a secondhand emotion on a battered 45'

Coincidental to the double black lines/roadkill drawings conflating the genres of landscape & still life, it occurred that the horizontal format of this current series of drawings of pears (a device common also to the summer sequence of drawings of found fruit), a result of the vantage point adopted from which to observe the objects as arranged (a little more eye-level than perhaps the more elevated position traditional to the exploration of still life), might be said to do something similar, especially with a lateral expansion in numbers such as represented here.

Also coincidentally, at the time of re-reading the Phaidon monograph on the subject of Vija Celmins, I happened to spot, attached to, spun upon, the outside of the window beyond the arrangement of pears, a spider’s web, which suggested it might also be included within the composition of the drawing...

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm


My Bloody Valentine 'Loveless'
Cocteau Twins 'Lullabies to Violaine' vol.1
(disc 1)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pears #3

Paring down the composition (ahem), whilst again attempting to create some form of spatial 'charge' between the objects. On this occasion, the pears are drawn on a life-size scale.

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm


Moon Wiring Club 'An Audience of Art Deco Eyes'

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pears #2

Presenting the second appearance of the pears, again contre jour & also drawn against the fading, crepuscular light of encroaching evening, with very minor compositional adjustments...

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm


Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man 'Out of Season'
Hanne Hukkelberg 'Rykestrasse 68'

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Seasonal Return 'Home'

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Further to the autumnal air introduced into proceedings yesterday, at least musically, & notions of the ‘mellow fruitfulness’ of the season, here presenting the first result of a return to a much-worn theme of my personal artistic history: pears became, for some time during the period of formal art education & then beyond, an obsessive subject of study & representation, being the perfect models in possessing as they do such magnificent, pleasing form – a natural design classic indeed.

This drawing was processed with the pears arranged contre jour & also against the seasonal fading light of evening (concentrating one's efforts into the available time, at least). Harking back a couple of years, & to the series of drawings & watercolours of quinces produced then (please refer to the October 2007 archive), the composition is informed by a certain sometime aspect of Euan Uglow’s still life practice, with some of the individual fruits placed in particularly close proximity in order to attempt some form of ‘charge’ in the narrow spaces between.


Appropriately crepuscular accompaniment provided via a journey into the depths of the curious goings-on in Clinksell...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Roadworks Again...

graphite & putty eraser/20x30cm

Returning to the theme of the local 'double black lines' road markings, & a drawing processed from such source material as has previously featured, during the course of the summer, in original photographic form, including its very own particular example of 'roadkill' in the form of a representation of a puppet character from a TV car ad (having come to a fitting end, it might be said).

In keeping with previous examples, the drawing attempts the balance of maintaining the integrity of the explicitly mark-made ground whilst also representing at least a suggestion of the nature of the tarmacked road surface of the source image. Again, given the subject matter, the traditional genres of landscape (albeit in constructed form &, as something of a perceptual complication, presented in portrait format in this instance) & still life are brought together within the same image as processed.


Galaxie 500 'This Is Our Music'
Nick Drake 'Five Leaves Left'
Portishead 'Third'

On what became, following a bright dawn, a misty morning of a distinctly autumnal nature, recourse to 'Five Leaves Left' as musical accompaniment to the hunkering-down of the drawing process felt most appropriate & somehow inevitable: a most seasonal sound indeed, mellow & melancholy in its wistful way...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Drink to Art History...

Today the opposite of tomato is a pompous old bear

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

The latest example of ‘roadkill’ diptych drawings processed from the subject/object matter of found ‘Readymade Cubism’ in the form of vehicle-compressed aluminium cans, this particular one again being folded into an arrangement of overlapping flat planes & displaying truncated, ‘synechdochal’ forms of its brand identity in various parts & places amongst the whole, in a manner that recalls the appearance of the archetypal ‘Hermetic’ Cubist composition (& also of examples of the subsequent ‘Synthetic’ development) & the fragmented objects-in-space therein.


Morrissey 'Vauxhall and I'
Cat Power 'The Covers Record'
Test Match Special
Eng v Aus, 4th ODI (Aus won by 7 wickets & took unassailable 4-0 lead in 7-match series)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Today featuring the latest drawing in the ongoing series to be processed from examples of found 'Readymade Cubist' roadkill aluminium cans, this particular object having been compressed & reformed into an especially flat state & displaying the requisite pleasing arrangement of overlapping planes & simultaneous views, with additionally in this instance a scuffed surface along its creases that adds a linear element - in erased form - to the drawing.


Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 'Abattoir Blues' & 'The Lyre of Orpheus'
Hanne Hukkelberg 'Rykestrasse 68'
Sparklehorse 'Good Morning Spider'
Test Match Special
Eng v Aus, 3rd ODI (Aus won by 6 wickets)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Another Reversal

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

So to another 'roadkill' drawing processed from a 'recycled' found, two-dimensionally compressed object, previously featured & now depicted in reverse, this side also displaying a suitably 'aesthetic' sequence of (readymade) Cubistically-folded planar fragments (although on this occasion without a synechdoche of its brand identity), fit for the purposes of representation.


Test Match Special Eng
v Aus, 2nd ODI (Aus won by 39 runs)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Process of Objectification

graphite & putty eraser with watercolour on paper collage/30x20cm

This drawing was processed as a companion to its predecessor, utilizing the reverse side of that same particular found ‘roadkill’ aluminium can as its visual source, again using watercolour to capture the colour of its patina of rust &, as a further technical development, incorporating a physical ground of torn & pasted pieces of paper, intended to refer to the folded, fragmentary, ‘Cubist’ nature of the depicted objects as they appear in their compressed, reformed state. In addition to its thus enhanced physical ‘object’ status (like its subject matter, it becomes more obviously three-dimensional with its explicitly layered surface, even if only in low relief), somewhat careworn in appearance, a noticeable aspect of the drawing is the manner in which the graphite adheres persistently to the edges of these paper fragments, within the context of the otherwise erased surface, which might also suggest the horizontals & verticals of the 'scaffolding' of a typical Cubist compositional structure.


The Avalanches 'Since I Left You'
Bjork 'Homogenic'
& homemade compilation

Friday, September 04, 2009

More 'Readymade Cubism'

graphite & putty eraser with watercolour/30x20cm

Continuing the diptych drawings processed from the subject/object matter of found, ‘Readymade Cubist’, roadkill cans, with, in this instance, the aluminium object displaying an extensive & rather attractive patina of rust in addition to the colours of its branded livery.

The sheer presence of the rust, its visual, aesthetic quality, demanded that it be represented in colour, an imperative reinforced when considering its art historical relationship to what might be termed the smoked, metallic colour scheme of earthy browns & greys that characterizes Cubist painting in its ‘hermetic’ stage. Interesting to note how, in the original drawing-as-object, the finish of the dried watercolour on the paper so closely replicates that of the physical surface of the rust itself.

Additionally, as might be observed from an example of illustrated facing pages from Harrison, Frascina & Perry's ‘Primitivism, Cubism, Abstraction’, featuring Picasso’s ‘Ma Jolie’ (left) & Braque’s ‘Le Portugais’, such paintings’ compositions are constructed around a central triangular form, intersected by horizontals & verticals, thus providing a further aspect of inspiration, & informing the arrangement of the reformed, now essentially diamond-shaped object within the drawing.

In this instance, with such references already made, the mark-making of the drawing’s ground as an explicit aspect of its facture is also informed by the nature of the short, horizontal, regular brushstrokes present & visible in the paintings’ surfaces.


Mazzy Star 'So Tonight That I Might See'
Rufus Wainwright 'Want 2'

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Back in the 'Compression Chamber'...

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Returning after a short hiatus to the series of 'stilled life' diptych drawings processed from the subject/object matter of found 'roadkill' aluminium cans, with this particular example of 'Readymade Cubism' having been compressed & reformed into a state where it 'archetypically' displays both a compositional sequence of overlapping angular planes & a synechdochal fragment of its brand identity that should offer sufficient information to enable the viewer to imaginatively reconstruct the whole or at least an approximation of.

As has become the recent working habit, the drawing was processed with reference to both the flattened object itself & an 'aesthetically distanced' photocopy. The ground was inspired by & is thus intended to reference a particular form of multi-directional mark-making associated with Jasper Johns, in the interests of creating more surface activity.


Robert Wyatt 'His Greatest Misses'
Belle & Sebastian 'The Life Pursuit'