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English artist Bernard Cohen talked of the balance between personal myth making and ritual. Myth making occurs through drawing and preparatory works. Here an artist indulges in activities that clarify the vision he is pursuing, that set up potentials for the ritualised realisation of the beliefs into the statements that are finished works – paintings, sculpture etc.. Of course the process of ritualisation raises more questions which leads in turn to more drawings, more myth making and then another cathartic ritual event. Part of this myth making could include garden making as with  Giverny and Monet’s landscaping to produce the lower garden.

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Homage to Hopper: Sunlight on houses on the seafront in Seaford have the quality of light and shade to be seen in the work of Hopper

The influence of other artists makes each individual artist take myths forward into their own rituals, consciously or unconsciously. A kind of creative ‘stream of unconsciousness’ that links all art through time. During the seventies I was strongly influenced in my work by American realists such as Hopper, Wyeth and the hyperrealists that were part of the ‘pop art’ movement. My involvement with design was a chance life changer, but I continued to paint and develop my vision. Photography played its part with the increasing sophistication of cameras and the software within them such as Canon’s Digic processing system increasingly allowing the sublimation of the technical part of taking a photograph to free the compositional element.

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Hopper used strong geometrics in his image constructions, harking back to devices used by Utrillo perhaps. Their strength created rhythms and strong eyelines which I mimic in my images

Hopper’s use of light and shade in his images influence my own vision and I still take images that pay homage to this inheritance. As I move more into my own work again thanks to the generous Christmas gift of a new studio so my own myth making process can begin in earnest. The landscape and the sea have been drivers for me since my days in the landscapes of Wiltshire and by the seaside as a child. Seaford, surrounded and limited by the South Downs National Park and the sea gives me the material on my doorstep, but I will also help OH in creating a garden to feed other types of imagery into my work.

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Texture and colour can immediately suggest abstract stripe paintings,but that is too easy isn’t it…

Balancing all this against the creative part of HotelDesigns is going to be a challenge, but I enjoy creating the Company profiles and travelling to create the Reviews of Hotels helps to broaden and sharpen my vision, expanding my visual library by increasing my experience of different landscapes. It adds value to my appreciation of my own inheritance and significant symbology of areas like the Seven Sisters.

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The power of white, an absolute

The studio is painted and today I start moving in the furniture – easel, table, plan chest, paints pastels etc..  I have some previously started work to complete, notably a triptych arising from a visit to Verdun. Verdun reminds of the brevity and unpredictable endings of many of our lives – and not just through warfare (as the US has had more people killed by guns domestically than died in the Vietnam war) but also through accident or ill health or just running a body into the ground…

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Endless imagery from the everchanging seascape

So the first piece of furniture in the studio has been a large clock, a ticking reminder that now I am over 65 my time is limited and must be used productively, creatively. positively. This blog will I hope let you follow progress, maybe see and share in the finished works, the photography, the drawings and  paintings.

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Floor scraped and painted, the studio is now ready for work table, easel and materials….

So now it is Onward and Upward. The clock is ticking…

 

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