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”.
This creature was made for a local outdoor art exhibition in place over the summer. I covered the frame made out of chicken netting with birch and fir twigs from already felled trees. Eyes are pieces of glass from bowls found at a charity shop. It was a fun, hands-on project!
Although this has been numbered as no two in the Flow series it has a number of predecessors. (Note to self, get a grip on documentation.) I experimented with painting gesso on 300 gram watercolour paper and continued with watercolour and coloured pencils. It has been a fight to reconcile the raised brush strokes of the gesso with the layers of watercolour but I decided yesterday that the struggle must stop here. The result is ambiguous, is it something growing, flowing or just a snapshot of light in a (colourful) glade? Or the remains of a structure?
Unless I suddenly see another possibility of portrayal I am now releasing it from my control.