Friday, December 31, 2010


A break in yesterday afternoon's drawing process for the making & taking of tea & accompanying sustenance resulted, subsequently, post-refreshments, in a return not to the work in hand but, rather, a digression & surprising departure into something of what might be considered to be object-centred narrative territory, the nature of which goes beyond the mere appearance of that which is depicted (in the moments of the particular immediate aftermath), in a multi-layered referencing manner. As such, the drawing also becomes another form of correspondence. An intriguing development, at least to self...

graphite & watercolour/20x30cm

At the more familiar level of process, this drawing is a a very rare instance of one featuring objects made under the source of an overhead artificial light, as one might notice,'obviously' given the nature of the sharply cast shadows, of a number of Euan Uglow's still life compositions, for example. Given the habitual personal preference for observing objects' form &, particularly, colour in natural light, however frustratingly fugitive & limited that might often prove to be, I've always marvelled at the subtlety of effect of colour & tone, the masterly control of such, Uglow managed to achieve under such conditions as artificial light.

A certain integrity in relation to the many previous drawings of 'roadkill' aluminium cans & also the few subsequent examples of those sourced from folded & crumpled sheets of paper might be claimed by the representation here of the folded-back tin foil covering of the halva container.


Pontone 'Spectral Cassette' #4

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's an Ad World #4

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Continuing the current sequence of drawings processed from the source material of archive print media advertisements, taking a step away from the subject matter-so-far of shoes here but, of course, featuring very much another object of consumer desire within the stylistic idiom of the Sixties (all very much the glamour of 'Mad Men' & Betty Draper, one might (re)contextualize, 'retro-contemporarily' if such a designation might exist).

Part of the re-mediation process on this particular occasion involved the draining of the image of its colour, not last the vivid red of the original's background, cooling things down to the monochrome of graphite & creating a more 'tactile, mark-made space'.

Consideration was given to combining another image into the composition, specifically as 'showing' on the TV screen, which is blank in the original, as some form of comment perhaps, but then it seemed most appropriate somehow that 'the medium is the message' - the medium in this instance being embodied by the (desirable) object, of course.


Jesus and Mary Chain 'Psychocandy'
She & Him 'Volume Two'
The Delgados 'The Great Eastern'

Sunday, December 26, 2010

'Opposite' Attracts...

The Boxing Day constitutional - mercifully at this stage nearing its conclusion, having, in the relentlessly enduring freezing temperatures, been taken 'by mistake' - brought a curious encounter with a most particular found object, a solitary tomato at rest upon the locally persisting snow (fortunately on the pavement, perhaps, rather than risk venturing out onto the road & ending as 'kill')...

captured also from the opposite side...

Most coincidentally peculiar, given the post of the 23rd's talk of Surrealism.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's an Ad World #3

graphite & erasers/30x20cm

A third drawing in the sequence as processed from the source material of 1960s' print media advertisements, again featuring the subject/object matter-of-desire of women's shoes, although on this occasion not manufactured by 'Palizzio' but, rather, 'Gamins'.

Whatever, the de-/re-contextualization of the re-mediating drawing process, erasing the textual content that 'explains' the composition, renders the image perhaps more surreal yet (the disembodied shod foot 'floating' in the black spatial 'void' recalling, possibly, the stocking-clad lower leg suspended within Joan Miro's 'Poetic Object' assemblage of 1936), a reciprocal comment, as by-product, on the tendency of advertising, historically, to appropriate or invent its own form of surreal imagery for its own ends of manufacturing desire in the potential consumer, in this instance suggested by the playful eroticism of the feather lightly coming into contact with, brushing, teasing, the area of sensitive, ticklish flesh (which response the original ad's 'copy' unsubtly, unimaginatively makes explicit), that erogenous zone, bared by the shoe's particular 'cut-out' design: such desire was very much an essential element of much Surrealist art, of course, making manifest those aspects of sexual desire, object-centred, hidden within the human subconscious, or unconscious.

By way of what might be a little 'seasonally-affected' departure, TOoT would like to dedicate this particular drawing to the transcendent 'Dotty', whose unfortunate footwear-related predicament, so entertainingly relayed over the course of a sequence of text messages, suffused the afternoon's subsequent drawing process with recurring thoughts of both the situation (which, happily &, one imagines, with considerable relief, resolved itself satisfactorily) &, more generally, the victim.


Moon Wiring Club 'A Spare Tabby at the Cat's Wedding'

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's an Ad World Again

graphite & erasers/30x20cm

Following on from the previous example, this drawing was processed, re-mediated, from reference to the source of a second 1960s' print media advertisement for 'Palizzio' shoes...


Moon Wiring Club 'A Spare Tabby at the Cat's Wedding'
Laura Marling 'I Speak Because I Can'
Rachel Unthank & the Winterset 'The Bairns'
Pontone Autumn Mix

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's an Ad World (a Reprise)

graphite & erasers/30x20cm

It's quite possible that 'Mad Men' withdrawal symptoms (the fourth season of the uber-stylish & compelling period drama recently having ended on BBC TV, as fellow aficionados will be sadly aware) have provided the inspiration & motivation for an otherwise random-seeming search for vintage advertising material which in turn has resulted in the processing of this particular drawing, otherwise I'm at somewhat of a loss to explain its existence.

With precedents occuring during 2008's Project of drawing from existing media image sources, one reason for a return to such is, of course, a strategy of side-stepping the 'seasonally affected disorder' of a lack of natural daylight in which to draw the familiar objects-as-described-by-light, the representationally-challenging play of light across their surfaces & forms, whatever subject/object matter that might at any particular time happen to be, the excuse offered for the falling-off of recent drawing activities.

Thus the drawing represents the intriguingly-composed visual content of a 1960s' magazine advertisement for Palizzio shoes - obviously a desirable item then &, it seems, rather collectible now - divested of any accompanying text, decontextualized & recontextualized within a re-mediated manual mark-making endeavour.

Such mark-making in this specific instance includes the inaugural use of one of the recently invested-in Tombow 'Mono Zero' eraser pens, rather stylish, Japanese manufactured objects as they in themselves are, brought to my attention via Marie Harnett's enthusiastic recommendation of such as essential elements of her materials in the realization of her exquisite & compelling drawings (which practice, as sourced from film stills, would perhaps provide suitable subject for consideration within the scope of the re-mediation explorations).


Moon Wiring Club 'A Spare Tabby at the Cat's Wedding'
She & Him 'Volume Two'
Pontone Autumn Mix

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Another Year...

Given the recent lull in proceedings, what seems, alas, to have become a familiar ‘seasonally-affected disorder’ slowing down the drawing & blogging process at this time of year, it doesn’t seem necessarily to be appropriate to celebrate, but at least one might acknowledge the fact that today marks the fifth anniversary of contributing, through the medium of this particular resource, more unsolicited, unedited stuff & gubbins & general inconsequentiality to the vast caverns of cyberspace.

In the spirit of such occasions, it just so happens, by way of another of those serendipitous circularities, those hauntological ‘having-been-here-befores’, which seem to be something of a house speciality (& to an increasing extent) hereabouts at TOoT, that we’re able to affect a reminiscent return to the very first post & a particular aspect of the eclectic range of its content, in the form of another encounter, at Liverpool’s fine Walker Art Gallery, with the work of The Little Artists, or at least a pair of examples of, which, for whatever reason, were/are included amongst the work & supporting archive material (fascinating photographs from the 50s & 60s of selection panels & openings, for example) in the ‘historical’ exhibition accompanying the main John Moores Painting Prize 2010 show.

Here, as mentioned previously back in those fresh-faced, pioneering days, are The Little Artists’ witty Lego representations of Tracey Emin’s (in)famous bed & Damien Hirst’s vitrined shark, pictured together & then in a little more individual detail: what larks, Pip - that also, of course, transport one further back in time, to memories of one’s own childhood creative investigations into the potential of those inspirational plastic bricks.

This being the second occasion upon which tentative mention has been made of the 2010 Moores but with the intended extended musing-upon destined once again not to materialize yet (well, we still have until the new year whilst the exhibition remains current), it might be appropriate to mention, at least, the first-prize-winning-worthiness of Keith Coventry’s ‘Spectrum Christ’, an object that extends the possibilities of painting & certainly achieves its stated aim of slowing down the viewing process, the ‘consumption’ of the image.
Housed within a glass-fronted simple box frame, this reflective surface &, obviously, the manner in which it is lit, provides a significant amount of ‘interference’ between the spectator & their reception of the image, the icon, which only gradually & with no little effort reveals itself to be a lusciously oil-painted blue monochrome of a heavy-lidded & pensive, melancholic Christ (which the website & catalogue reproduction - thus a poor substitute for the actual empirical experience - shows clearly, instantly): before one sees this, one is confronted by one’s own image reflected in the glass, superimposed upon the elusive subject beneath, & then observes the activity of other gallery-goers & the space itself, the vaulted ceiling of which might suggest something ecclesiastical in architectural terms & also subsequently creates a visual dialogue, through the ages, with the interior space depicted within such an historical painting as Hendrik Cornelisz van Vliet’s ‘The New Church at Delft’, as may be observed in one of the galleries leading off from the main Moores exhibition space.
Further & more localized dialogue exists with other of the Moores’ exhibits displaying reflective surfaces (a minor sub-theme), but, of all such examples, Coventry’s provides the most complex & compelling perceptual experience through its successful resolution of a painting-as-image/object strategy.