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The trouble is development of ideas never quite seems to go in straight lines. Perhaps it is ideas moving in parallel, but the grid I was working with last week went into stasis this week and I was swept away by the waves again. From the colour plays that are sub-Riley perhaps, to the expressive this week, as I return to the expressing of winter waves that I focussed on in ‘Capturing the colour and Movement of the Sea.’ I think it is a bit of unfinished work I need to get out of my system, or maybe just some complex displacement activity whilst the ‘Geranium’ series  grows in my subconscious.

Breaking Wave Acrylic and oil pastel on paper 18 inches x 24 inches

Breaking Wave
Acrylic and oil pastel on paper
18 inches x 24 inches. Now in a private collection in Brighton

Picasso said that what set artists apart was their ability to be child-like. Not childish, as some are, but in effect to retain an innocence of looking. The trouble is the more one thinks about one’s art the more difficult it is to retain that innocence of seeing. Bashing back into more expressive wave drawing gives me the chance to continue to play with technique, trying to mix oil and water colours.

Breaking Wave 2 Acrylic and oil pastel on paper 18 x 24 inches

Breaking Wave 2
Acrylic and oil pastel on paper
18 x 24 inches  Now in a private collection in Yorkshire

My grid paintings allow the controlled expressive brushwork to manipulate space, and through the drawings I have been trying different, freer, techniques, layering paint and scratching through to reveal colour through layers. Working from images the grid also plays its part in allowing me to scale up a drawing to a larger format, where the autographic mark can be expressed whilst still building towards an image. In the wave drawings the image emerges from the activity, the mark making allowing an image to emerge whilst expressing the violence of the waves breaking on shingle.

Wave Drawing #8 Oil pastel and acrylic on paper 36 inches square

Wave Drawing #8 Oil pastel and acrylic on paper 36 inches square

 

I want to mix photography in with the mark making and in the last Geranium drawing that started to work, so the next wave drawings will try a similar trick. I am also going to try printing the images out on tracing paper to see if that will help move things forward too. Grappling with technique is part of finding the language appropriate to express the ideas. Oddly enough it is whilst grappling with technique that I miss the art college atmosphere, where other experience and knowledge of techniques can help bounce ideas around beneficially.

Detail of large Wave Drawing

Detail of large Wave Drawing

Experience comes into play though and evolving my own language is exciting enough, and the results are beginning to work for me (feedback welcome though).