21 October 2009

The critique-quarantine

I've been keeping odd hours of late, working half a day here, a few hours there, leaving early so I can cycle to the station in time to travel before the forbidden commuter hours.

And still nothing is really getting me fired up to do some proper painting. I paint a spot here, a few brush-strokes there. Some are nearly finished. I will find certainly find new avenues when they are.

Today I werked on 4 canvases: I practiced my white neon - 'SSSHH', and another 'path of least resistance'; I re-visited the sinister crow; I made some more finishing touches to 'Three and Eight', which now hangs in the gallery in a kind of critique-quarantine.

15 October 2009

a vice like grip

So I sat there on my little plastic stool, nursing a cup of tea, with my back turned to the easel. It went on for an hour or so. My wrist still hurting, and not one single painting inspiring me to pick up a brush.

I decided if I couldn't get on with anything, I should werk out how to do something new: this 'something new' would, at some point, warrant building a set of tall, thin canvases. I measured and scaled up the subject by 10 times - 170cm x 9cm.

Next I went to the dusty jigsaw workshop and set up the mitre saw. Conclusion: if I was to cut any lengths of timber to 9cm, I would definitely be risking my fingers. I did a test, and realised that the bloody thing doesn't even cut a straight angle anyway (this explains why I had to make a wedge to get the last canvas I made square.). Tried to adjust the blade, made it worse. Then concluded that even if it did cut straight, there is absolutely no way of making a precision cut, as there are no guides on the bed to show where the chop will be made.

Much swearing followed... then I went and bought one of these old-fashioned manual bits of kit on eBay for a fraction of what the electric one cost. It's built like a tank and painted in green hammerite, just what the doctor ordered.

7 October 2009

a write-off

I've decided to write-off today. I did start painting for a bit, but I have RSI and my wrist hurts, and nothing I did was right. And anyway I need to leave in a couple of hours, so what's the point?

Normal service will resume next Wednesday.

1 October 2009

painting: That Fiery Inferno In The Pit Of My Belly

Here's a commissioned painting I finished last Christmas.

The brief was for a painting to hang on a high wall under a vaulted ceiling - it was a slightly odd width/height ratio, which made for a tricky composition. The only other factor was the colour palette: deep, burnt oranges and reds, with black.

With the proposed hanging height in mind I set to creating a painting that would work best when looked up to, emphasising the height and size of the foreground elements, and drawing the viewers eye in to the very depths of the flaming inferno.

The colour palette took me back to my 1st year at art school, when I produced a set of four paintings depicting apocalyptic scenes from the Book of Revelation - All fire and brimstone and volcanic eruptions.

This canvas began life as a slow, oozing river of lava. But over the course of about a year, it gradually metamorphosed into a fiery cavern of molten magma - some kind of hellish pit of internal combustion. I lightened the mood, cheekily adding a tiny ship, chugging its way through the volatile lake of fire.

That Fiery Inferno In The Pit Of My Belly, 2008, mixed media on canvas, 125cm x 78cm

If you would like to commission a painting, please email: iheartneon[at]gmail.com
You can view more of my work online at: Saatchi/yourgallery and artists.de