Your start a piece and then hit a ‘resistance’ which stops you in the tracks. Despite looking at the work on and off for years, nothing seems to work. And then an exhibition looms and you think ‘I should really finish this’ and you do and it just seems quite easy.
I was inspired by the Four Quartets series by Ian McKeever which I find so beautiful. He works large on canvas with acrylic and oil but also do smaller pieces on paper with gouache. My take started with watercolour on heavy paper and then I applied the gouache which floats to create some sort of double layer although I’m only applying one layer.
So – I have stretched some Canson paper and am looking forward to challenging myself. Feels like I should keep the surface only for pared down forms and concentrate on the colour. Will try to do what Patrick Heron did – the ‘intuitive manipulation of paint’ and some’collaboration with the material’!
Number 2 of what could be a series – six of which I feel are almost there. I’m hanging them on the walls in my studio, waiting for them to ‘speak’ – more colour? tone down or highlight an area? add more ‘features’? Sometimes it takes weeks before a piece is silent and lets me put it on the shelf. I did the ‘base’ last summer in a flurry – I could almost call it inspiration – but it was more of finding the right colours to use. Kept looking at them but nothing moved me to start drawing. Did try though but had to erase my efforts. Colour is what I start with and with the monoprint I’m leaving it up to the unpredictability of the print to create a structure. I can now use a quote from Braque “Let us forget things and consider only the relationships between them” – in this case colours instead of “things”.
You just have to stop working on a piece and do it before you kill it and now the moment has been reached when it needs to be set free.
The monoprint was made last summer, and now that we are in the dark days of January, the yellow light in the print was a tempting starting point. I start drawing with no idea really how it will end, the blobs and areas of colour just suddenly asks to be connected or enhanced. And here I feel that I can add a quote from Maggie Hambling “You haven’t a clue what’s going on and that’s the best place to be in”.
This piece was included in a show at Ateljé 19 (my figure drawing group) last weekend. The red flowers seem to be a recurring theme – here with some daisy-like flowers which I now feel are rather ‘obvious’. I prefer not to be too specific with the organic objects but here they sit nicely along the green background.
The Hybrid Hen was one of my contributions to this year’s Konstiga Rundan, a local art trail around the village lake. It was constructed using recycled materials – plastic coffee bags on a structure of old wire and chicken nets. The white ‘feathers’ were made from a roll of re-inforced plastic that one of my brothers rescued from the skip outside his workplace. The coffeebags were donated by friends – and collected over several months – Thank you all! The HH looked fantastic from a distance – she glinted in the sunshine and was hard to miss!