In my new work started this past month I have been keen to explore the relationship that drawing has with painting, in terms of representing the figure. In wishing to retain the immediacy of the drawings I made, I projected and drew figurative images onto the canvas.
I drew people walking down a street in a relaxed setting. However, the original drawings of the figures were executed without any reference to buildings or backgrounds. I was just interested in recording physical detail. The drawings took five-to-ten seconds, or the time it took for the person or people to walk in and out of view. I had no time to consider my work or to edit the drawing during this time. If they stopped walking I had more time to draw them. The drawings were a result of observing and responding to their movement, with my pencil marks recording sensations according to their gait or gesture.
The challenge was to situate them in a perspective. By using acrylic paint and through the use of colour and layering I was keen to explore how the figure could relate to a new invented space on the canvas.
One of the paintings up in the Spence cafe is called 'Then to the ming'. The title came from watching the Olympic games opening ceremony in Beijing in 2008 on television and somehow I found myself writing down many of the comments from the commentators describing the unravelling scenes of colour and movement.
But I started the work in 2002 and have worked on it intermittently since then. Looking back I'd been working in a furniture place that sold antique indian pieces and I remember being influenced by the character of a number of them at the time. Most of the photos of each stage come from the past two years.
I tried to upload them in order the bottom four are the wrong way round chronologically.
I ended up taking lots of photos because this painting got under my skin a bit and found myself in a few dilemmas in the decision making of the painting.
This one (above) is the first record of its development. taken (Aug 2002) I was (am) into building up the surface by painting on board fragments, where some have materials added to build up texture, including loosely woven fabric. When the process slowed down, I discovered by ripping the board fragments off revealed rough exposed areas of glue and paint combined unevenly to make a new shape and surface with which to work with again. I used small brushes to build up colour intensities in each area.
New pictures on its way - have started on the canvases prepped up a few months back - Aiming to have some things to show at our Open studios at the end of the month. Spence Cafe in N16 London from the 5th of Sept. Third venue in N16 in over a year- oh the exposure! Let the indian summertime roll - but don't forget your cardi' ! St Martins and Chelsea Ma shows on so will try and check them out - wonder how many painters i will see?