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We’ve been in Seaford for nearly a year now. We’ve achieved a great deal in that time, but we are still a long way off finishing. Best part so far is the building of the studio at the bottom of the garden which has set me up for painting again after about ten years. The last major piece I did was based on an image of fuchsias but the recent drawings seem to be taking me away from this – although it may change when I start working on the canvas that is now on the easel ready. Nothing more terrifying than a large blank white canvas when you’ve not had a brush in your hand seriously for ten years…

So many things come between me and the painting. Prevarication? Distraction activities? Maybe so, in part anyway, but I still run a business too and deciding on working hours is one thing but then I am also fighting a war against convolvulus (bindweed) so even walking down the garden to the studio sometime takes nearly an hour…

Convolvulus wraps itself tightly around other plants, smothering and strangling them

Convolvulus wraps itself tightly around other plants, smothering and strangling them

I’ve worked through some colour things in another metre square drawing, but finding the oil pastels I’m using not right. It seems the make I used in the past are no longer available and all the others I am trying are very soft and greasy – a failing exaggerated by the hot weather recently. It did cross my mind to try making them but then that becomes another distraction activity.

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Detail of the latest drawing ‘Summer Garden’.

In some of the drawing I have been playing with working with both acrylics and oil, and getting slightly disappointed that the acrylic doesn’t separate when used over the top of the oils, but maybe that is something I will play with on the next canvas. Where oil does score is on being able to scrape through to allow underpainting to show through, and it responds much better to gestural marks than the acrylics. Everything feels like new exploration at the moment, stuttering, a bit confused as to direction, but I’ll just keep pushing to see where things go.

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Using the same format to hold the mark in place, Summer Garden (a metre square) follows on from the Verdun triptych

I have also ideas to explore through using photography more and have access to a wide carriage printer, but now need some real expertise in printing and Photoshop to be able to draw straight into the images. I’m sure there is plenty of stuff available but just being out of the art game for ten years leaves a knowledge gap (anyone?). Right now the next steps in getting the house how we want it are looming – clearing rooms for carpet fitting, making measured survey drawings for the new en-suite bathroom, waxing new oak…

C’est la vie

 

 

I now have a Pinterest board for my art at http://www.pinterest.com/patrickagoff/patrick-goff-art/