Two different themes have occupied me in the past weeks: more shapes and chaotic marks in a series I may call ‘constellations’ or stars in space.
The second theme came from my rework of a painting called ‘In my mind’; one I kept fiddling with but could get it back to when I was a first satisfied with it. I took to it with a very sharp scraper tool to remove layers of paint and reveal a gorgeous surface. I then drew into it loosely with oil sticks and crayons and it came to life.
This lead to loose mark making on a another new work on a mainly orangey background. It was fresh and lively and fun to do. I thought it was finished until I worked on the next one on a medium green blue background with purple shapes.
Two small works were happening in parallel influencing this one.
So now I am rethinking the orange one. Is it too busy? Will I lose the freshness if I fiddle with it? Maybe time to put aside and go on with something else and come back with fresh eyes.
My three new shapes theed ones are ongoing. one used two colours; Paynes grey and Indian yellow. The other two were turkish red, gold and black and white. The blue one resolved quickly and how I had intended. The other two are recalcitrant. This is the finished blue one.
The next one was staying with the shapes theme but then morphed into something else bringing its mate with it. These are a mid stage and last views. Not quite sure what to do next. Maybe something drastic. I like the surface but it has no focus.
There were lots more stages. It’s an intuitive way of working and sometimes one is lead ‘up the garden path’. Only paint and paper for now. All these are 60cm squares.
Another project has come to completion. It is a visual catalogue of all the art I have created. At this point that is 860 paintings (20 to a page). I have always photographed my finished work and kept a spreadsheet of all the information relevant to each piece. Since I have been painting full time it has been increasingly important to keep good and accessible records. I tried putting images into the ‘great’ spreadsheet but it became frustratingly slow to use.
When I found that I could print a page of images from a single folder in one step the project was born. So now I can quickly see the painting and its number and navigate the spreadsheet, my photo database, my website and Bluethumb and manage it all efficiently.
It has made me realise how much I like to look back at my progress; there are major break throughs, periods of mediocre and also exciting work. There are themes and styles that reappear over time.I have too many paintings in store and need to tackle the destruction or distribution of many. I am attached to some because they were milestones in my artistic development or reminders of places visited.
The good news this week is a sale on Bluthumb. After a very successful few months in September/ October sales had dried up. I was wondering if I’d annoyed an algorithm. Maybe we can blame COVID. Anyway this one from my Shapes series sold. Its titled ‘What lurks within”
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