Do we see influences in our work in a rear view mirror? Or is it simply that having been through art school the philosophy of art we develop embraces us and colours all our thinking? Are art schools a bit Jesuitical – that ‘give me the boy and I’ll give you the man’ sort of development of our minds, where art becomes like a religion?
That we live in search of beauty as artists I often doubt when I look at the ugliness that some artists develop in their work. As a boy I remember reading a story about a man who finds a coin in the gutter one day and spends the next ten years looking for another. Then one day he looks up and sees the clouds and is almost struck dumb by the beauty he has been missing.
I have been quite ill recently, unable to get in the studio, forced to rest. Work has been difficult but I had my look at the sky moment the other day when struggling to make an appointment in London. Waiting for the train I became mesmerised by the changing skyscape as the wind off the Channel drove clouds across the sky, a blue sky with the moon still shining down. I came home later tired but the sky was still dramatic, still beautiful and I felt re-energised.
Psychologically I seem to be getting over my setback and am beginning to pick up the threads in the studio. I’ve picked up the drawings and continued to explore the colour for the next painting. I’ve already stretched the canvas, but it’s been sitting on the easel for over a month now – which may be no bad thing as I tend to try to go too fast.
So the drawings continues to develop as I work at the same time with the photographs that combine with colour notes in the sketch book to form the base from which the ideas are developing.
It is almost a year now since my love gave me the studio for Christmas(2014). It has transformed my life and will continue to change it as I get back into painting. The large drawing here is the seventh in a series. The process is changing the format and the process is also changing how I am thinking about what happens when I start the next painting, although at a metre square some of these drawings almost have the stature of paintings themselves.
I fell reenergised. All I need now is the complete all clear from the medics….