Category Archives: Making

Minimalist and expressionist

When describing my practice I often say my work is in the modernist tradition and particularly influenced by abstract expressionism as well as artists that reference minimalism. Some of the approaches I’m experimenting with at the moment are allowing me to show these two influences in a playful, tactile way.

Farrow and ball ‘Pelt’ emulsion paint on torn paper

Sizes range from 25cm x 18cm to 36cm x 26cm

Testing time

I’m testing some new approaches. Smaller scales and working directly onto paper or fabrics without stretchers to encourage me to experiment more and not worry so much about ‘failures’.

I loved tearing some fantastic paper to size before starting to test a dripping technique I’ve been meaning to try for AGES that will provide a more continuous line. I’m really pleased with the results so far and look forward to doing much more of this.

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Studio reflections

Some challenges I’ve set myself for the new year include:

  • enjoying making the most of my (tiny!) studio space (it may be small but it’s mine)
  • seeking some tuition from my photographer friends to get better and more confident at photographing my work
  • being playful with my materials – this means not hoarding them (what am I saving them up for?!) and embracing the chance to make mistakes

One of my favourite paintings from 2019 was a result of an accident – a cracked paint tin leaving me with congealing paint – which forced me to experiment with the materials I had immediately to hand.

This pink and blue painting (congealed emulsion paint on found board) is so expressive both of its making and in showcasing its materials and their qualities… it is also VERY difficult to photograph now that it’s framed! It’s currently hanging on my studio wall to encourage, inspire and challenge me.

 

Testing new paint

I’m enjoying testing out some new colour-ways and textures having picked up a new colour from Providence paint at their shop at Burwash Manor. It was tricky to come away with just the one!

Print editions for COS 2019

I’m working hard getting ready for my COS weekend at Burwash Manor next weekend where I’ll be showing my abstract paintings alongside the lino prints I’ve been working on. I love learning new techniques and am really happy with how the final editions have come out. I don’t have access to a press so they are all hand burnished, and I’ve married the fixed quality of the lino print with painterly backgrounds which make every print unique.

New lino prints

It’s always good to try something new. Having attended a lino printing workshop by the fantastic printmaker Nina Sage I’ve fallen in love with the process so will be developing some prints to show at Burwash Manor on 27th and 28th of July alongside my paintings. I’m still at the test print stage but am encouraged by the results so far.

Whereas my paintings (often influenced by the natural world) are usually abstract I’m enjoying sticking with representational images while mastering the printing techniques. The prints also allow me to use my preparatory drawings and observations in a new way.

Using the processes and materials to evoke/capture movement in a print through mark making, as in any medium, is very satisfying.

Variations on a theme

Further developments on the theme of ‘impressions of the ouse’. This series of work has evolved from direct observations, including sketches, photographs and immersing myself in the moment while out on walks. The preparatory work has enabled me to then experiment with form, colour, and materials to produce abstract pieces which, I hope, convey something of the original experience of taking in the landscape.

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50 x 50 cm

Emulsion paint on canvas

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40 x 40 cm

Emulsion paint, watercolour, pencil and charcoal on canvas

Impressions of the ouse

Some of my work is more purely abstract, whereas some pieces are developed more directly from observations and impressions. This pair of paintings – worked on together and designed to be shown individually or together – are an example of the latter. Ongoing work is similarly influenced by the local landscape which is a rich source of inspiration, colour and form.IMG_1457 crop

Triptychs

After working on Winter Light 1, 2 and 3 which are designed to be shown together or separately I developed some pieces specifically as triptychs. I am also planning a much larger series of pieces that can work in combination or individually, as well as some larger landscape format paintings, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the quiet strength in the number three.

These paintings continue to explore mark making directly onto hand stretched raw canvas by dripping and/or painting and/or scraping emulsion paints. Each triptych consists of three canvases that are 41 cm wide by 31 cm high.

Winter Light 4

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Grey flow

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Red Orange Rhythm

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Spot the difference

As I’ve written before it’s often tricky to know when something is ‘finished’. For a while I’ve felt there was something not yet right about this circle grid; I think it finally feels resolved now.