Working against

Working against 76×56

The title for this piece is taken from an interview with Ian McKeever, an artist whose work I love. It seems we both start with a layer and then, at least I, push against what whould seem to be an inevitable progression. It must not just go there, colours blazing and forms fitting in. Although of course I seek some balance, coherence and beauty and looking at it now perhaps ‘some’ is an understatement. My preoccupation with the unseen systems of warning, information and protection used by trees is one aspect of this piece, I also wanted to show that life is still going on inside them despite their loss of leaves in the winter.

Loss

Loss (63×45 cm approx)

This monoprint took a while to get going – the stark contrast between the red and black and the middle part with little in the way of openings didn’t give me any hints of where to start. But this impenetrable surface eventually steered me towards using the central enclosed space as an area from which tentacles/veins could flow out and into. I wanted also to keep the work ‘organic’ and tactile. At the end of the process I toned down the red slightly although the colour is still a ‘bit in you face’.

Dance II

Dance On (image 70×50 cm)

Another tree inspired monoprint with coloured pencils. I was thinking about the mycelial network connecting trees when ‘drawing’ the roots of the trees. Keeping to mostly red the colour is depicting this support system and the interdependence of living organisms – the Gaia theory depicted on paper.

Dance On was longlisted for the Royal Scottish Academy OPEN Exhibition 2019 – the final selection will be published 23 October.