Here's a glimpse of what's happening in my studio at the moment. The photograph above shows my latest painting in the final stage of completion ie waiting for the last drips of ink to dry.
This is part of a body of abstract painting which has more in common with my recent text art than is immediately apparent. Both the paintings and text art can be 'read'. By this I mean that the viewer can unpick my painting process and replay my art making. This aspect of the work can be compared with the paintings of Bernard Frize, among others.
Although this work is still in development I'll indicate some of the underlying concepts and a little about the making:
• Reducing painting to the essentials.
• I apply constaints to my drawing/painting process so that gestures are minimized - an anti-heroic take on expressionism.
• Simple flick-of-the wrist ink splashes.
• Or, individual drips of ink from a pipette.
• A limited vocabulary of five or six doodle 'types' in several of the works. I select the type of doodle to suit the density of ink splashes.
• In some works, larger drips and splashes cover earlier layers of work.
• Although the process is partly predetermined, the execution and end-result are unpredictable.
• The artwork seems to drift beyond my control but never completely so.
• A playful, animated end-result.
• Ink drips and doodles are a common vocabulary.
• The viewer is actively involved in unpicking the process of making; these works can be 'read'.
You may see connections between this work and that of other artists eg Bernard Frize (as mentioned above), Atsuko Tanaka, Ian Davenport and David Reed. The vocabulary of everyday doodling reminds me of Ian Davenport’s description of his own painting as:
“big drips . . . absurd, quite stupid really . . . a journey from a dumb thing to somewhere else.”
(Jackson Pollock Revisited, by Anna Moszynska, Contemporary Visual Arts Vol 22).
Green Gravity No.1, 140cm x 100cm, acrylic ink on cartridge paper, 2011.
I have pared back my process in this latest work. I secure my paper on a board on the studio floor and I drip ink from a pipette, attempting to space the drips regularly across the surface. I lift one side of the board and as soon as one drop of ink starts to run, I secure the position of the board and allow the ink to dry (as show in the photo). I repeat this process, lifting each edge of the paper in turn.
The hand of the artist is not evident. On close inspection, the viewer observes a water-based system on the verge of losing its equilibrium. I freeze this moment of physical stress.