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March 30, 2004

ah, yes...

Being nearly unstuck and all, Iíve been doing other things. Finishing portrait commissions, preparing new panels for new projects, and working up new ideas. But there are still Unstuck panels to be painted.

So Iíll get back to work.

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March 18, 2004

nearly unstuck

A successful opening to the show at the art market, Leeds [143 Wakefield Road, Gildersome]. Sold eight paintings Ė canít wait to become totally unstuck.

Looking at your work in a gallery context is very different from seeing it in the studio in amongst the paints. The pictures that work are the pictures that I look at in the show and say: ďdid I do that?Ē - the pictures that have left me and set up life on their own. They have to spend a good deal of time lurking in the corners of the studio to gain this independence, it has to be said, though for some it comes easy and for others itís a struggle. Some donít make it at all and suffer endless indignities at the mercy of the white primer.

I am pleased with the Unstuck nature of the paintings in the show.

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March 12, 2004

the nail in the wall

It’s not all easy putting on an exhibition in a new gallery…

I couldn't hang my pictures yesterday because the joiner hadn't hung the hanging system, and the joiner hadn't hung the hanging system because the decorator hadn't finished the painting, and the decorator hadn't finished the painting because the alarm engineers hadn't installed the alarm and the alarm engineers hadn't installed the alarm because the phone man hadn't put in the phones and the phone man hadn't put in the phones because the carpet fitter hadn't laid the carpet, and the carpet fitter hadn't fitted the carpet because the joiner hadn't hung the hanging system.

But we’ll all be there tomorrow, 'nearly unstuck' 11.00am to 4.00pm, the art market, Wakefield Road, Gildersome. Leeds.

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March 11, 2004

on display

Hanging the show, of the work in progress, things become apparent which don’t show up in the studio. The stark empty white of a gallery highlights the content of the pictures that can get lost in the busy studio, crammed with images.

I have found this before and have deliberately held back with these unstuck pictures. I shall put some images from the show on my website in the next couple of days.

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March 09, 2004

a lesson to us all

1642 was a difficult year for Rembrandt, with far reaching consequences, unseen by him at the time Ė as the future so often is. Rembrandt, already living beyond his means, or rather his wifeís means, painted The Militia Company of Capt. Frans Banning Cocq and of Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburgh [1642] better known as the Night Watch. And Saskia, his wife, died.

The Night Watch was a group portrait of soldiers and tradition at the time was such that each individual in the painting paid a sum in accordance to where they were standing in the picture. Rembrandt decided [somewhat foolishly as it happened] that the artistic composition was more important than the status of the subjects.

This was neither a popular nor particularly profitable decision. By 1656, with waning popularity, Rembrandt was bankrupt.

Perhaps in portraiture, as in retail, the customer is always right.

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March 07, 2004

giorgio de chirico on mystery and creation

To become truly immortal a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken it will enter the regions of childhood vision and dream.

Profound statements must be drawn by the artist from the most secret recesses of his being; there no murmuring torrent, no birdsong, no rustle of leaves can distract him.

What I hear is valueless; only what I see is living, and when I close my eyes my vision is even more powerful.

It is most important that we should rid art of all that it has contained of recognisable material to date, all familiar subject matter, all traditional ideas, all popular symbols must be banished forthwith.

More important still, we must hold enormous faith in ourselves: it is essential that the revelation we receive, the conception of an image which embraces a certain thing which has no sense in itself, which has no subject, which means absolutely nothing from a logical point of view, I repeat, it is essential that such a revelation or conception should speak so strongly in us, evoke such agony or joy, that we feel compelled to paint, compelled by an impulse even more urgent than the hungry desperation which drives a man to tearing at a piece of bread like a savage beast.

Giorgio De Chirico, 1913

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March 04, 2004

nearly unstuck

A few of the Unstuck Paintings, and some which aren't unstuck [as it were], will be exhibited at the opening of the art market, 143 Wakefield Road, Gildersome, Leeds LS27 7HH. From Saturday March 13th for eight weeks.

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March 03, 2004

life without a rubber stamp

Sometimes, as an artist, it is hard to justify what I do.

What do you do all day? they say.

Hereís the answer: get a rubber stamp.

There is something very life affirming actually stamping something with it. THUMP on the ink pad, then THUMP on the paper. The Gestapo will now let you out of the country. The Post Office say everything is OK. You are confirming both the seriousness and the propriety of what you are doing and the sceptics and critics are mollified.

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March 01, 2004

sun thickening oil

Itís Monday morning so I must stir the oil. Linseed oil in a shallow baking tray sits, in the sun, on the window sill with a glass sheet over it. Over time [many weeks, months even] the sun clarifies and thickens the oil. This is a dream to add to the paint, making it smoother and extending it within the brushstroke. That is: making it gloriously easier to paint with.

As with all these things the first time is a lot of waiting, but if you have some oil on the go all the time youíll always have some.

see straight walking sticks

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