Sunday, May 8, 2011

Some notes about my practice

Rough Notes

All my paintings have a mixture of ideas behind them I've tried to break them down into rough notes. These aren't strict classifications on paintings or the ideas, they all crossover...

Development of Ruskinian ideas in my paintings. (and through my thesis)

Ruskin: Truth to Nature

Nature as data

Nature as images of space, cosmos

Nature on a cellular level

Idea of Relation

Relation: Artist's responsibility. The intellectual quality from the relationship between the elements within the painting.

Relational: Viewer's contribution to the painting. How the viewers own knowledge relates to the elements the artist has made visible. The artist can play with the viewers own pre-conceptions in the paintings.

The relationship between the material and the image has become part my paintings:

Material language/painterly qualities & the image

The image collapses, is disrupted and there is suggestion through aesthetic conventions held by viewer.

Material: gesture, arrangement, colour & surface the paint

Truth as a Critical Practice

In brief, an interpretation of Ruskin's moral ideas about truth in painting into an awareness and understanding of the contemporary context and the history of painting and creating work in this context of the past & present, creating a complex, in a ruskininan way truthful, discourse


My paintings engage with their own visual history and instigate a conflict between image and medium. Through disruption to the surface and the use of gesture I aim to keep my paintings shifting between states of clarity and painterly intangibility. References gathered from various sources are secreted within the canvas and the reappraisal of nature as data generates curious abstract interventions.

Untitled. Oil on canvas 36 x 24"

The abstract organism

The abstract 'motif' as found in Kandinksy can be translated historically into paint's material autonomy.

What I mean to say is, now are these motifs images in themselves or still expressive gestures,

they have a historical context which makes this less clear.

The translation is in allowing paint to function autonomously as a material life-form on the canvas

This allows it to reassert itself away from this historical dogma.

The relationship between this painterly "organism" and the image it cohabits the canvas with

There is a surface layer and a depth/content. Either may carry images on and within them.

Perhaps the picture plane is built up of dimensions/slides with different events going on in them

One may be the landscape another a figure, another non-representational they bleed between each other or show through holes/transparency

The image collapses, the image rebuilds this is a cycle that goes on in viewing the painting

There is a shift between recognisable and non-representational the conventions found in the viewers mind help the work do this - it is relational in this respect.

Chemtrails & Untitled. Oil on prepared panel 36 x 24 "

Nature - data & satellites

Kandinsky's conversion of nature in to abstraction finds a parallel in satellite imagery of weather, atmosphere and space

where our environment becomes much more diffused and abstracted light and colour become very pronounced

Painting 1910 Oil on canvas 24 x 36"

Poussin’s Disease and Degeneration of an Icon

The collapse of conventions and icons in art is personified in the late work of Poussin.

His own physically deterioration lead to a looser more painterly style of work which is a pre-courser to the direction painting would take in its depiction of nature. This is a pathway to the abstraction and material life of paint itself. The material becomes more pronounced as the artist deteriorates. The collapse of image in to abstract shapes and arrangements (referencing Kandinsky in this way) is part of my practice and the deliberate damage to the surface of panels helps break the images grasp and lets the material become more present (the surface itself too)

Degeneration & Untitled. Oil on canvas 24 x 30" & 24 x 36"

Gallery of more paintings