Monday, 23 January 2017

cannabilise everything

Sometimes , as in the previous post , paintings are made in the heat of the moment , without consideration for drawing or quality , they exist in a strange no mans land between sketch and finished work , sometimes a painting may have the germ of an idea in it that needs to brought out . Paintings, like words in digital space can be cannibalized . 

In a brief return to realism back in 2008 I'd made this painting 

Suddenly A horse ( state 1)

In the winter of 2009 - 2010 I was house-sitting for a friend whilst preparing for my first solo show in Ireland , the first of three that year  at Birr theatre and arts gallery 

I'd bought all my painting gear with me , easels , paintings to finish , boxes of the models I use in my paintings ( and thanks Monica and Mauricio for letting me use your house and workshop a lot of the paintings wouldn't have happened without the opportunity you gave me ) and a few paintings which I thought might become something more . So I set to work on the painting and it became this, one of the few paintings I have ever actually sold .

dark star dark horse

Originally I'd used tracings and hand cut templates to draw it out , but having spent a while drawing over 2007 - 2010 I could finally realize the germ of the idea as it had presented itself , and I still consider this to be one of my most fully realized paintings.

Another painting I had made in 2008 took the same treatment ( it kind of ties in with the box paintings as I took the initial photograph of the work when I was trying to remake the paintings from 2009) 

Box of laughs ( state 1)
This painting was done directly from life , at a time when I was trying to teach myself  observational drawing all over again , I found it hard to keep up with the changing light involved and the constant repainting , at one point I had also drawn lines on the floor of my mobile so I could keep track of where I was sitting and where to place the light source I was using ( as a lot of the paintings from around this time were done at night after coming home from work ) . Photography and the computer screen freed me from this and allowed me to concentrate on exactly what it was I saw in the still life set ups I was working from ( a photograph of the initial set up , transferred onto the board using a primitive image projector then using the computer screen as reference for colour , shadow and detail - the zoom in tool is your friend ) . So this painting became this 

Box of laughs v2 

Its one of my favorite paintings, and has a few in jokes as well , the painting is a box within a box   , the skull is a childs toy , part of a magazine serial to collect and build a human skeleton , so people are shocked by the skull , but it is a toy , the camera is a childs toy also , so it represents a camera , but a camera which can never be used, or rather a painting of a toy imitating a camera within a frame which is read as a box but is a rectangle filled with paint.

Sometimes its worth going back to old ideas to reinvigorate or reinvent them, this painting from 1997 has gone through at least three iterations 

Still life no1 1997

Still life no1 2008

Still life no1 2009
Each time I make the painting I have to recreate the props from the original ( I now have a box of these , that I cut out from plywood staying at my friends house ) and each time the painting turns out slightly different , the final version from 2009 is much smaller than the original from 1997 ) - sometimes ideas nag at me or they become something of an obsession .

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