Sunday, February 27, 2011

More of the Same but Different...

Another example of aluminium can 'roadkill' to be found, just so, upon a stretch of the local 'double black lines' this morning, &, accordingly, pictorially framed.

Once more rain-dampened, the 'allover' monochrome surface of the picture plane is thus particularly closely-toned in this instance, in what has become what might be termed the 'classic', pure manner, with visible differences thus distinguished primarily by alterations in texture between the tarmac road surface & the painted lines upon, which themselves display only subtle evidence of the narrative history of their black-over-black-over-original yellow application, with the 'incidental' flecks of the latter echoing those of the lighter stones embedded amongst the tarmac.
The branded design upon the surface of the flattened object serves to provide a small diagonal contrasting compositional 'zip' amongst the otherwise predominant horizontality of the whole - which has a particularly cool & minimalist appearance, generally & in comparison to some of the more recent pictures within this genre - whilst the gentle curve of the can's base also performs a similarly subtle function.

Also, today's potterings afforded the opportunity to revisit the scene of one of yesterday's finds & represent it positionally as before but afresh with the attendant 'double black lines' more preferably closely-toned in relation to the tarmac ground, for that critical 'all-over' surface integrity that is one of the great formal intentions & purposes of the photographic & indeed aesthetic project...

Whilst it was rather exciting to find the other 'Cola Zero' 'roadkill' can found & photographically recorded yesterday had been subject(ed) to some overnight movement, thus enabling it to be pictorially framed within another composition altogether, in a significantly different spatial relation to the 'double black lines' (& at much greater distance from than occurs generally, habitually, one may note), themselves now, as might be observed, also featuring their termination too & perhaps something slightly more of a curve at this particular location...

Truly, such finds are the gift that never stops giving.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rich Clickings...

A double whammy of 'roadkill' cans as found consecutively upon related sections of the 'local double black lines' road markings this morning: the prevailing drying conditions following a rain-soaking meant the painted lines & tarmac surface were much less closely-toned than preferred for the habitual subtly-modulated, harmonious monochrome integrity of the picture plane, in best modernist fashion, but still the overall compositions as possible to photographically frame were too inviting to ignore, given certain incidental details.

In the first instance, a slight curvature of painted line again occurs, as has done recently, lending something of a different dynamic to the composition: one might note, too, the more rigorously straight-linear most-recently applied layer of paint (black over black over yellow, as has occurred 'historically'), cutting with swift precision through the previous curve(s), upon the lower of the parallel lines, thus creating a keen formal dialogue with the upper, slightly more languid arc...

Whilst a subtle, shifting difference in pictorial framing allows the incorporation of a complementary touch of the original yellow paint showing through the eroded latterly-applied grey/'black' layers, opposite the flattened, 'still(ed) life' object, with which it thus engages in a certain relationship of primary colours, punctuation marks amidst the prevailing grey monochrome of the overall, 'allover' surface, & also coincides with other instances of revealed yellow that recur along the lengths of the lines.
One might also note the clusters of curved marks upon the lower straight line, establishing more subtle textures & another more localized complementary dialogue of formal features.
Just as found, framed thus, this is a richly detailed pictorial space indeed...

The flattened object itself also introduces coincidental formal dialogue with the curve of its base & that of the line upon which it lies, whilst the circular design of its branded identity contrasts with the predominant linearity of the whole.
In more fanciful contextualizing mode, & allowing for a little slippage, one might also suggest such design's acknowledgement of the oval logo emblazoning Jasper Johns' iconic 'Ballantine Ale' cans & also, perhaps, the artist's even more iconic targets...

Within a matter of yards, traversing a junction & a little further on, a second example of 'roadkill' was to be found nestling besides the beginning/termination of another section of double black lines, this particular feature thus providing a welcome, much less frequent (& accordingly more precious) formal, compositional treat amidst the pictorial whole as framed.
Note also the instances, once again, of surface erosion-revealed underlying yellow paint, such colour as also occurs upon the painted surface of the flattened object of the can, &, furthermore, at least as observed within the upper of the parallel horizontal lines, the textural detail of the obvious 'archaeological' visual evidence of the three clearly separate strata of the painted lines as applied over the course of the temporal narrative of the road surface's history.
To conclude, & in rather a neat formal coincidence, one might also claim the near-circular form into which the can has been accidentally but serendipitously compressed under the circumstances serves as something of a 'full stop', a sign of confirmation, at the end of the painted lines, as it were...

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Touching Display

A slight repositioning of the pair of pears in intimate (erotic?) proximity to each other allowed them to make contact at another point & to also focus attention, as observed under certain light conditions at a particular time of the day, upon a vivid flash of colour between the objects as it appeared on one of them & around which, essentially, in this instance, the watercolour drawing was constructed...

graphite & watercolour/30x20m

[With acknowledgement to Wire, once again, for providing 'appropriate' titular inspiration for this entry, coincidentally the song thus entitled immediately preceding 'On Returning' on the compilation CD of that particular title]


New Order singles compilation
Mark Mulcahy 'Fathering'

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's a Wrap (Sort of)...

It's long been a vague intention to at some stage follow up the series of photographs taken of a batch of wrapped & jacketed Chinese 'Ya' or snow pears - & blogged here back in the early days of TOoT (indeed, before it was even known as, when operations were concerned with irregular musings upon 'The Life Aesthetic...') - with further representation & exploration of more of such objects in the form of drawing.

Quite possibly as a result of the habitual September sequence of pear drawings/watercolours being then followed by the short, seasonally-curtailed series of drawings of blank, crumpled sheets of white paper (as may be found in the October & November 2010 archives), such an intention seemed to rise towards the surface of general consideration towards the end of last year & into this, as something of a little new departure & yet maintaining & indeed re-establishing contact with long-abiding concerns.

Alas, a local source of such exquisite aesthetic objects has this time proved elusive (the greengrocers from whom the originals had been sourced having some time ago 'left the building', as it were), so, some nude pears having been purchased elsewhere (an intimate pair of which have already featured in a recent study), a couple were recently lightly & loosely (or, perhaps, rather cack-handedly) wrapped (as one might appreciate) in white tissue paper for the purposes of modelling thus, against a white ground observed, as pretty habitually, contre-jour, in the interests of the familiar tonal exploration of what might in such an example be termed the 'un-whiteness of white', with also hints of veiled colour showing through in places:

graphite, coloured pencil & putty eraser/30x20cm

Obviously, for such a body of work to develop as a properly intensive aesthetic study of the subject-object matter, much greater rigour would need to be exercised from the very beginning of acquiring or creating the appropriate models, but perhaps such is at least a start, & presents a possibility...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yellow Alert

Presenting, pictorially framed, another example of aluminium can 'roadkill' subject/object matter as found immediately besides a section of the local 'double black lines' road markings, which here, in terms of additional compositional & incidental detail, feature extensive evidence of what, 'archaeologically', lies beneath the significantly eroded surface, in the form of the original yellow lines applied upon the tarmac base (itself the crust of the road's & earth's strata of construction) of the 'painting', which of course disrupts the 'allover' monochrome of the picture plane, subtly modulated in tone & hue in the differences between tarmac & painted lines: the yellow band indeed forms a significant & striking compositional element in this particular picture, extending as it does more than half way across the surface, a noteworthy addition to the ongoing genre & oeuvre as it continues to develop...

One might note, also, the familiarity of the flattened object's branded identity, instantly recognizable even its compromised form...

Friday, February 18, 2011

On Returning

On the road yet again, today sees a return to the very subject & 'roadkill' object as found & pictured - unsatisfactorily it was considered (indeed twice, at either end of the day) - two days ago, now under different prevailing atmospheric conditions.
The keen-eyed viewer might notice, comparatively, that the object has remained largely undisturbed over this period (unusually given its location, remaining at the mercy of passing vehicular traffic, one might assume), with only a very slight movement in its position upon the double black lines: here, the very & particular flatness of the object, compressed onto the road surface, might suggest it is fixed, embedded thus into the picture plane, as might be a compositional element in a painting.

The grey day also brought the arrival of a much anticipated package, from the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the contents of which considerably brightened proceedings when the cardboard envelope was opened, as might be appreciated:

I love the whole object-quality of the outer packaging, the institutionally-branded tape liberally wound around its form, & then, as discovered within, the wonderful, vivid yellow of the tissue paper carefully folded & taped around the book inside, sealed with a circular sticker bearing the bold 'B' & square 'full stop' punctuation mark logo that echoes that to be found in larger dimensions on the address label upon the envelope: an aesthetic, object-centred feast even before one explores the true contents, which was/is in fact the object-of-desire catalogue published to accompany the Baltic's current exhibition of George Shaw's wonderful, profoundly evocative paintings (frequently incidentally featuring tarmacked road surfaces & the painted marks upon, it might be noted, 'affinitively'), entitled 'The Sly and Unseen Day'. There's an essay within written by our man Michael Bracewell too - endless joys & inspiration, much more upon the subject of which will surely follow as & when appropriate & the contents have been properly, closely studied...

A nod to Wire too, for their titular inspiration in this particular instance, as appropriated.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dangerous Curves...

Continuing with the sequence of finds along the same stretch of the local 'double black lines' as featured recently, today an(other) example of aluminium can 'roadkill' was encountered once again but a matter of yards further along than the previous one, upon the markings just as they now, at this point, curve (slowly, almost imperceptibly in such a 'detailed analysis') around the roadside as it forms a junction.
Here, the act of photographic framing captures the incorporation of another compositional element into the picture plane, in the form of the white diagonal to the upper right, which, as does the flattened object, also serves to compromise the integrity of the otherwise subtly modulated minimalist monochrome of the 'allover' surface...

Further disruption to tone & hue, & texture too, occurs courtesy of the erosion suffered by the surface of the lower, inner of the painted 'black' lines, going beyond craquelure to the extent of breaking up to reveal 'archaeological', historical evidence of the original yellow beneath, which allows access to a temporal narrative of events having taken place, albeit at a slower pace perhaps than the more obvious & instant example of the flattened aluminium can suggests...

A shift in vantage point subsequently allows another picture to be framed, using the same elements as previously, with this time an additional white mark, which gives a different dynamic to the composition...

At this point, titular inspiration for this particularly illustrated post should be acknowledged in the form of a most serendipitously appropriate postcard, presented by the wonderful & charming A, & representing the cover of a 'classically designed' vintage Penguin novel, a delightful flat object in itself...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Day on the Road...

Another example of a 'roadkill' aluminium drink can as found compressed flat upon a section of the local 'double black lines' markings, in fact but a matter of yards further along the same stretch that yielded last Sunday's encounter with such.

Again, the object lies upon the subtly differentiated tonal & textural variations of the 'allover' grey monochrome of the picture plane as photographically composed.

The images were in fact taken at opposite ends of the day in terms of its available light, with the above 'panorama' recorded as dusk closed in & the close up below captured previously, in the early morning sunshine, these being the better examples of the range of photographs taken.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Familiar Leanings...

graphite & putty eraser/20x30cm

A little out of their seasonal context perhaps (please refer to both September 2009 & 2010 archives for extensive evidence of their habitual place here at TOoT), but seeming worthy of actively contemplative study nonetheless, this pair of pears were found in this particular relationship to each other, having been arranged thus by another hand.

The pears had, in fact, already been drawn twice during the course of the previous week or so, a graphite study followed by a watercolour drawing, in another spatial arrangement of intimate proximity to each other, but, both works being presented to A, having been made with topical intentions, shall we say, it was felt that they remain more personal than being exhibited here to a potentially wider audience.


Lambchop 'Is a Woman'

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grey Day = Brilliant Find

As seems to have become something of a Sunday tradition, this morning’s constitutional presented, along the home straight, the most excellent find of a flattened ‘roadkill’ can upon a section of the painted ‘double black lines’, as here photographically depicted.
Note how the grey, black & yellow colours of the can’s branded livery so closely replicate those of the road surface & its markings, in particular the visible slivers, scratches, of the yellow upon both, a most delightful coincidence.
Also, as the viewer might appreciate, the patched nature of the tarmac road surface adds another compositional element to the overall subtly-toned & textured monochrome of the picture plane & furthermore lends an 'historical', narrative element to the scene…

which area might then assume greater compositional weight if one employs a slight shift in position from which to photograph:

Whilst back on the road, I must also acknowledge this recent & very wonderful post on Jazz Green’s Artist’s Journal, on the subject of road repairs & (re)painted yellow lines, lavishly illustrated with extensive photographic evidence of such, a veritable cornucopia of intriguing patching, layering, textural incident & subtle colour variations, a most succinct survey courtesy of Jazz’s keen eye for such features & details, with the added bonus of being accompanied by her usual eloquent text: a rewarding visit is much recommended.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Under the Influence Twice Over...

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Although appearing undoubtedly familiar from a stylistic (& referential), mark-making aspect, this particular drawing in another way (re)presents something also of a quite considerable departure into more obvious narrative territory, that we might choose to leave ambiguous by refraining from over-explication, other than acknowledge the influence of A, with whom the image, employing items of a shared visual & object vocabulary, is primarily intended to engage in a personal dialogue, whilst also, of course, having a universally readable quality.

Utilizing both objects & photographic source material in the composition, the spoon - found, as the familiar flattened cans, upon/in the road (for the purposes of 'integrity', of course) - specifically & primarily references A, but acted as the key to unlock a range of delightful & buzzily-inspiring associations, as they unfurled, with the work of Jasper Johns, such an object featuring both as itself & as represented in various paintings - 'In Memory of My Feelings (Frank O'Hara)' would be an example of the former (suspended, with a fork, to a length of wire), & 'The Four Seasons' the latter, silver painted - & prints over the years.
Much more is embedded & embodied besides, but perhaps a little intrigue is preferable in such a drawing as this, in the interests of allowing the viewer imaginative interpretations.