Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Steve Payne

I'm not sure as to the sequence of events but up until this point I'd been really struggling with painting, coming up with something which wasn't precious , chocolate box or dishonest. I was the only one in my year that was considering applying for painting as a degree , but I couldn't get a handle on it. I'd done a project on churches and it was shit. I'd gone out and drawn churches, researched windows, Icons and filled a whole sketchbook with things like this:

 The actual sketch's I can live with , they are crude, unfinished, but what I tried to make from them , plans for paintings, I can't. The one below, well.

Steve Payne could see I was struggling and
 set me a project over Christmas to draw whatever was around me at set times during the day, no matter what. So I drew and drew , and drew and drew , and forgot about making paintings. Again  I'm not exactly sure of the chronology , the conversation which I came to see as being the most important I'd had then or since could have happened before or after Christmas but what I do know is that what we talked about then came to underpin everything I have done since with my work.

 It goes a little like this,as far as I can remember: write down a list of things that you can draw really quickly, draw them as crude shapes, use these shapes , paint them onto paper as quickly as possible , don't think about composition or placement , just use black , ( later on black and white) work on as many works at a time as possible , don't judge , don't edit, don't use words, work as quickly as possible. He drew this for me as an example:

Drawing by Steve Payne 1987
And so I drew a list of things to use, I had a choice, either trust him , and admit that I was in real trouble and knew nothing , humble myself, and learn, or continue on the path I was on and get nowhere, so I trusted him, and have never regretted that decision to this day.

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