Acrylic and ink on 300 gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
The application of layers of coloured scumbling, crazed by random marks, scribbled with twigs dipped in black India ink, is followed by intuitive editing. Selecting shapes that appear from the paintings surface; highlighting and isolating.
It is a process akin to -pareidolia – where ones imagination is used to conjure images in the natural world, faces are often seen in clouds, or on bathroom floor tiles; figures on wall surfaces. Look away briefly and back again; the image may be hard to detect or gone completely, only to be replaced by some other face or form.
It is the same with this image, my imagination impulsively selected what I thought to be a Knight Crusader. Once accepted I continued, pushing logic from my mind. Is the forming of such an image part of a subconscious memory? maybe even of some television episode from a distant program? Who knows! Other viewers minds would have conjured something completely different. It does not matter.
Acrylic, ink and charcoal on 300 gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
I have come to regard memory – like my process of abstract painting – as never fixed, always in flux and infused by the multitude of present moments of recollection.
Memories – or the affective experiences that stimulate the memories – remain as invisible guides in my work, or perhaps are embodied within it. Laying down images then intuitively erasing or overpainting to form new images suggests a link between creativity and memory itself. Such a process of revising previous events, renders memory as active and always partially elusive.
Acrylic on 300 gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
A moment in time, gone now; all that is left is it’s affective impression. Early morning sunlight streaming through a window to mark the beginning of another glorious day in an otherwise, drab Welsh council house. The sun’s brilliant light refracting through panes and its kaleidoscopic brilliance reflecting off everything within. A dazzling start to a new day. As ever,all seemed well with the world. Oh! that is rather a clichèd phrase. Modern communications technology instantly and constantly remind me that all is never well with the world. Nevertheless my world remains full of such “stolen moments”.
Is it too much to expect that in 2017, all may be well in the world.
Memories, looking for birds nests as a young boy in a Celtic landscape, “Too long ago”, remind me of the little Yellowhammer. Fascinated by markings on its eggs, we boys called it the “Scribbling Master”. Random scribbled markings on its shells appeared to be drawn with a frenzied fine nibbed pen.
The egg has become a recurring symbol in much of my abstract art work.It is a symbol of rebirth, of new life, a motif of regeneration following times of turbulence. I view the Yellowhammer’s primitive shell crazing as patterns that precede new beginnings, a precursor to change.
“Germination 1” and “2”
Coils of new life emerge like ribbons into a world, as if breaking away from primitively crazed shell patterning. I relate this abstract approach as a portrayal of the human spirit and its resolve to overcome adversity. A metaphor representing the struggle and tenacity of people who often escape from broken and hostile environments to start afresh in a new place.
Acrylic on 300 gsm. paper, 50cm. x 70cm.
Boyhood memories of “scrumping”, an exciting, albeit unlawful, seasonal pursuit where young village boys would secretly raid farmers orchards with the goal of pilfering apples. There was always the danger of being caught.
I begin painting with a process of applying multiple layers of colours and random shapes with no focus on the structure or any plan for the final image. This process continues until my emotional responses inform me of the possible subject.
The viewer may question, “Why the lack of figures in a painting with such a theme”? However the old artist remembering, does not see himself or his friends, rather it is the emotional experience only, that is keenly remembered.
In hindsight it seems the memories may also reflect on the theme of property versus place, where land is always owned and adventurous boys always trespassers.
Two distinct, endless ribbons intimately interconnected and eternally linked, suggesting life’s complex pathways and our need for supportive relationships through such a labyrinthine journey. Acrylic on paper, 50cm. x 75cm. (2016).