Currently trying to be aware of my reactions to my environment on a daily basis. Reading about nature and human relationships and responses to it and wondering where painting, abstraction and my own work fit into this. I’m reading ‘Wanderlust’ by Rebecca Solnit which is quite an exciting and eye opening account of what it really means to walk. This is making me appreciate my walks all the more. She writes that walking is quite a subversive thing to do in our car oriented culture, I think this is where my alienation to urban walking comes from. I do enjoy walking with my 3 year old daughter, she’s always picking up stones and leaves, stopping to look all around. It’s inspiring to see how children experience the world.
In the studio I’ve been producing quite a lot of work large and small. I feel like I’ve turned a corner in my process to some extent. I am more intentional in my work, making an effort to think about landscape, walks I’ve been on and allow that to enter the work. Sometimes these elements remain in the work but other times they cause me to introduce new elements. I’ve been painting over a lot of marks using white and allowing them to show through so the history of the painting can be seen, sometimes I even rub away recently applied paint to show what was beneath. I find this layering very interesting, it seems to give the work consistency, as if it’s had an inetersting life.
I have been making an effort to respond to my walks but somehow I have crept back to looking at work by my favourite artists such as Patrick Heron, who was very inspired by nature also, and Benjamin Gardener. I’m glad I did this though because looking at their visual languages has really helped me to move forward in my work. And I’m still managing to make work that balances organic plant like elements with more hard edged intrusive shapes and grids to mirror the way man made elements interact with natural spaces.