Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Working again at last!

The partition wall and the false walls at the back are complete, ready for me to cover in work!

Shelving and trestle table more or less in the right place, one more set of shelves to bring over.  Still got to bring my mangle and another old door that I use as a table top with trestles over from the house.

Apart from a few small gaps in the walls and around the doors to fill, the studio is finally ready and I have been able to continue my work.  I really like the space, the light will be ok during the summer months and I am going to get some more strip lights installed before the nights start to draw in again.  I have one calor gas stove in preparation for the cold months, but suspect I may need another.  The chickens are still nosy and come for a peer in if I leave the studio door open, and I never leave the boot of my car open because they seem to like hopping up inside for a root around.

Still, all in all I am happy to have the new space up and running, my working routine will soon settle down and I shall be able to concentrate properly again. 
Life does have a way of interrupting the flow though: this week I have several appointments that are going to disrupt things and next week I shall be in The Gallery, Ryedale Folk Museum all week taking down the Nicholson show and intalling Ian Mitchell's exciting new work.  Andy Dalton and I are really looking forward to seeing his work in the space; what we have seen so far is really good stuff.  Ian has taken the opportunity of the show to develop and push his ideas and working practice, which is what The Gallery is for.  Contemporary artists in this rural area need a space that provides them with support and encouragement to develop their ideas and take risks with new work. 


There are some potentially exciting developments for Ryedale ArtWorks in the offing, I am really looking forward to working with the team to see what we can achieve.  RAW is hoping to broaden it's horizons to provide more opportunities for exhibiting among other things, so these are exciting times and there will be lots to do.

I have continued to experiment with the bottles with the metal tips that allow me to draw with the paint.  I have used an old canvas that was not successful for this; the paint I mixed is slightly thicker than the last lot and unfortunately it clogged.  I am not sure whether this is because I didn't mix it smoothly enough or if, because some of the paint is quite old, there may have been some skin that I caught up by mistake.  I shall have to take more care next time.  The clogging caused me to have to stop mid line, which entailed much loud swearing on my part; I just hope Sally Taylor, who is in the space above me was not in at the time!  The break in my line was frustrating, but when I looked at the work a day later, having gone over the work again to adjust the tonal value of the drawn area, it didn't actually matter.   

The tonal qualities of the drawings is an integral part of the image and meaning and contributes to the success of the work.  With the paintings this is much more difficult to achieve; I have found a way to draw with the paint that is quite successful but with paint comes a whole other set of things to consider.  Paint equals colour, which adds another dimension and distraction to expressing an idea.  Tonal qualities of paint are complicated by the colours selected, which affects the meaning/idea.  It is easy to create tonal contrast by using primaries or secondary colours, but I prefer the more sublte tertiaries.  I keep a rough record of the colours I mix in a sketch book and am constantly on the look out for interesting colour combinations when I am out and about in the landscape.  Light, especially stormy light creates a wonderfully expressive contrast of colour and tone.

I think this colour combination is a bit too obvious!

I am continuing to experiment with way to express the ideas of time passing and the human condition some of which are more successful than others.  I think the drawing with paint is a little "tight", I prefer more gestural use of paint but it has been a useful stage of the process.  I am looking forward to the continued struggle, finding a successful way to express time/seasons, loss and optimism.  One thing I do know; sometimes the simplest things are the best so I need to find ways to express things in an enigmatic way, to allude to the meaning and allow the paint to take over, to have less control.

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