Settling down to mark making and exploration is very relaxing, using a limited colour palette and different types of marks brings a different state of focus. Repetative actions become an act of meditation, each square using the same colours but becoming different, and endlessly variable. I am instinctively drawn to some more than others and reflecting on why I think some work better. Its something to do with composition, the quality of line and space.
Making a lot of small paintings like these enables a flow, the first one somehow tighter and a bit forced, the later ones more experimental and bolder. I am trying to use bigger areas of one colour and not to overdo or overthink and get bogged down in detail.
I think I will cut these up and bind them together to make a small sketchbook to refer to.
The rocks I collected from around Dylife lead mines have within them a whole world, mini landscapes in their own right and I am representing some of this in making marks and shapes. These are monochrome acrylic paintings on paper, I have used PVA glue in some of the areas and when the glue has dried slightly put paint over it and dragged it around with a piece of cardboard. This creates amazing patterns and organic shapes and exploring techniques like this is useful reference material for beginning the final exhibition pieces.
There are some amazing shapes and shadows to be found within my local landscape for reference material. These rocks are a microcosm of a wider world. Evoking thoughts of time passing, land, objects revealed, all relevant to my practice and on going painting project. These shapes are a total inspiration.
Directly referencing the rock shapes I have found at Dylife lead mine I am thinking about how to describe form with drawing techniques and coming up with ways to effectively use line to give an impression of a solid mass. I am excited by the blockiness (land mass) and the slivers of bright colour suggesting cracks and crevices, implying hidden treasures.
The spoil heaps and stones at Dylife lead mine are mostly reddish brown because of iron oxide and pollution from past mining activity but I want to imbue them with life and energy, a memory or vibration of human endeavour or exploitation which ever way you want to look at it. There is a large amount of quartz to be found and rocks with quartz running through them like rivers of energy, forming amazing organic shapes. Gem stones have also been found.... more on that later.
The past few weeks have been full of artist research, reflection and planning. Revisiting Joan Eardley, enjoying her energetic and spontaneous brush work is making me think 'how can I loosen up, not get too bogged down with detail and don't allow my work to become tight and over complicated'. Chatting through my initial thoughts for final exhibition paintings with my tutor and mulling over possibilities of shape and scale prompted research into the work of artists Ian McKeever and Michael Porter. Instantaneously transporting me to an amazing world of texture and boldness with themes that directly resonate with the elements I am exploring in my research and practice and inspiring me to think big, think deeper and more conciously and work out a way of discussing my paintings more effectively. Be brave!
I want to make paintings that describe land, the solid mass and the living soil. I want to make paintings that imply the legacy of human activity on and in the land. I want to make paintings that dig deep beneath the soil in all its living, breathing magnificance.
Taking time to just sit with paintings, looking and thinking is so worth it. All sorts of new ideas pop up, particularly about composition and colour, and spending an hour just looking and jotting down thoughts as they flow through my mind allows for consolidation, space for new decisions and ultimately makes for a better painting.