Communing by the sea - favourite thing
Communing by the sea – favourite thing

‘The Appalling Unrest of the Soul’  

I have no love for reasonable painting. There is in me an old leaven, some black depth which must be appeased.’  Delacroix: The Journal

This is a new addition to my website I am adding, hard to define, I often find myself inspired to paint on return from visiting a new place or experience which has changed something in my visual vocabulary, it doesn’t always surface immediately, depending on what stage I am at in a series of work, it quite likely emerges when I start a new painting.

It can begin with simple colour and mark on canvas or paper, seemingly random, but once I start it is as if I  am processing so many things  – walking home in the rain, looking out of my window, listening to an unexpectedly profound bit of music, recollecting a moment in time or noticing the light/sky change suddenly. Pretty intangible stuff, but weirdly specific at the same time. Music is always on, it seems to help take my mind out of the literal, into the abstract language of paint. I know I have finished something when that conversation stops, and when the words start flooding in for a title, immediately or much later when I am making sense of what I was trying to do.

I have attempted to explain a few times, that sometimes when I walk into my studio, maybe just to get something, a painting will sort of wink at me and speak to me in no uncertain terms, something like ….’ small pistachio green mark needed in the top right-hand corner, now’….so I comply, it sometimes works and that mark stays, or, if it gets obliterated, it will be by a flurry of marks and colour that move that painting on to a better, truer place, or a mess that I hope to eventually learn from, and so it continues.

‘Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued – except as a stimulus for further moves’ excerpt from ‘Notes to myself’ – Richard Diebenkorn

Sketch Book workings