After my tutorial on Monday, I completed a painting I’d been working on for a while. I’d been struggling with the painting, but that was aim actually. Before I started the painting I’d listened a podcast of an interview with the artist Ashley Garrett, she talked a lot about the process of painting and although I can’t remember exactly what she said it got me thinking about being ‘in’ a painting, getting into it and becoming really involved. A lot of my recent work is the opposite of this; I work very quickly and do more of a layered drawing with colour. I enjoy these pictures, they’re light hearted and energizing but I was missing something, I needed to get more involved. So I began this painting on A2 paper using acrylics. I was going through quite a bit of stress in my personal life and trying to finish a lot of projects while making the painting and I found it was all coming out on the paper. It was hard going and nothing seemed to work. Thinking about the James Elkin book ‘What painting is’ which I’ve been reading recently I imagined myself as an alchemist and tried to take more risks using gouache as well as the acrylic. The results were sometimes interesting and at other times ugly.
The artists’ work I mainly thought about during the process was that of Ashely Piefer, Amy Sillman, Terry Ekasala and Ky Anderson.
I tend to concentrate on either how these artists use colour or drawing in their work. I think about their work and then try to forget it or go against it, but mostly I just respond to the work itself. So, going back to the tutorial, the suggestions my tutor made leaned towards a more conceptual interpretation of the words Form, Frame and Fracture. And I thought her ideas were great, but I didn’t feel like I could go in that direction, it just felt wrong somehow. I decided to go back into my painting and see if I could find the answer there. I realized that what I really wanted was a painterly interpretation of these words, that’s what I’m really interested in exploring, it’s not that I don’t find conceptual work interesting but I just don’t feel the same pull as I do with investigation the formal aspects of my work. I must remember this; I think it’s going to be the key to everything.