Monday, 25 November 2013

Variation on a theme. Yellow on blue, Nov 2013 Mixed media on canvas, 39.5 cm x 39.5 cm

When Malevich painted his Black Square in 1915, it caused quite a stir. Malevich is hailed by many as one of the forerunners of modernism and his work still turns up in today's discussion about what painting can be "about". The simplicity of the square, the circle and the cross he painted can easily be revisited by anyone. I fancied having a go myself, initially as a starting point to something else. I did want to start off where he had arrived, namely with the good old square. First I chose a totally different colour scheme, but worked over it. Then the new combination also got painted over, this time by the highly contrasting blue and yellow. I still viewed it as the beginning of a more complex painting, but soon I changed my mind. Returning to the canvas one day, I decided to give the homage its due respect. Instead of embellishing the motif, I just worked up the colours to be more solid, flat and simple. Staying with the original idea, the square, has if not helped me create something original, at least helped me appreciate The Black Square with fresh eyes. As an exercise, I can recommend this particular "motif" to everyone. Choose new colours, or not. Fret not over originality, just enjoy the visit to 1915.   

Monday, 18 November 2013

Bands, lines and stripes. Greys, Nov 2013. Mixed media on canvas, 49.5 cm x 49.5 cm

Luminosity and intensity is often associated with bright colours. I sometimes work towards a muted intensity, where quiet hues or murky combinations does all the running. Buff white is a new discovery for me and one that has appeared more and more in recent work. An impure character, buff white has a tremendous ability to corrupt most other colours it comes in contact with. Having toiled with a horrendous commission using paint brushes, this work, "Greys" burst forth with unusual rapidity. Scrapers were used to push the paint around and a tiny amount of sand-fragments still lodged on the surface from an earlier work made for a worn impression. Again bands, or stripes or even lines, call them what you want, carries the anonymous composition.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Progression. Untitled, Nov 2013 Acrylics on canvas, 49.5 cm x 49.5 cm

Progressions interest me. Progressions in time, space and shape. Visual progressions are something I've worked with a lot recently. The death of old imagery, the emergence of new expressions upon the memories of that which has gone before. Life itself often provides smooth transitions from one state to another, not unlike a gradual fading as of a colour into a new one. Occasionally a jolt irreversibly throws us from one state into another. These properties tied in to time itself permeates everything, and makes for an intriguing topic for a painting.  It all continues, inexorably advancing.