27 July 2013

New paintings: Revealing and Past, Present, Future (18/7/13)

Revealing. 15/7/13, acrylic paint on card

Past, Present, Future. 15/7/13, acrylic paint on card

Two more paintings finished, again it took quite a bit of time to compleate but I guess time pays off in the end.

What can I say about these two pieces...? Maybe that is always going to be the question. I think every time I create new pieces it creates more questions than answers. So I think perhaps personally the work will always generate some element of surprise and curiosity.

Although I always do try to keep a slight reference to the built environment, its always used as a foundation in which to develop from and test new grounds hopefully. I want to keep searching, explore new possibilities from this foundation, to retain a level of connection but also test the boundaries of what it could be.

New paintings! (11/6/13)

29/5/13, Meaning without Meaning, chalks on paper

29/5/13, Searching for Something, chalks on paper

10/6/13 Some ware in Taiwan, acrylic paint on board

10/6/13 The Calling, acrylic paint on board

 New painting to add to the archive. It took a wile to complete but I got there eventually. I have continued my exploration using coloured chalks and also tried using acyclic paint. They both have there advantages, the chalk can convey subtlety and variations in light, on the other hand with paint layers can be built up creating a depth drawing the eye to different tones and texture.

I feel there is almost something quite spiritual with these pictures, in fact when I was in the process of creating them I became aware of this and so I just let the pictures evolve. Perhaps this is because of the colour or the way I am drawn into those spaces, I feel I am searching, trying to find something I cannot sea. Maybe they have a presence about them as if they are wanting to communicate something, an encoded message perhaps.

New Chalk pictures, 11/3/13

(In the Distance, 11/3/13, chalk on paper)

(Shifting, 11/3/13, chalk on paper)

(To the Sky, 11/3/13, chalk on paper)

It has been a wile since I last updated my blog, I have been busy with a lot of things lately, it's a bit annoying because I do enjoy putting out new material.

Currently the time I do have I use to work on things like my drawings, sketchbooks and research because at the moment it is the only creative means I have to explore my ideas until I find a suitable studio space to create ceramic work. But with limited resources there are still possibilities. I think its pictures like these that continuously drives my thought process, its this creative process that require me to explore new territories in a way other than through ceramic.

So here are a few new pictures, all dune using chalks on B4 paper, I am enjoying using this material, its probably a medium I will continue to explore as I find myself becoming more comfortable using it. In terms of the images as a whole, they are referenced from my photography, imagery taken from various locations to which have been translated by changing the colour in relation to parts of the form. I have also tried to become more consciously aware of the form and the surrounding space as it is my intention to draw the eyes to different constructed parts, hopefully the restricted colour range could help harness this.

I realise though there is still a lot to explore, hopefully the more pictures I can create the more resolved the work will get.

Window (2) 5th February 2013

Window (2) 5/2/13

Following up from my previous picture "Window", I liked it so much I thought I would recreate it using acrylic paint because as of yet I have not used paint for quite some time. I have also had a canvas lying around so I decided I would use that to paint this recreation onto.

The previous picture of course was dune using chalks, I liked the vivid colours that could be achieved, the subtleness of it, the potential for detail and the ability to use an eraser to control effects. Similarly I found with painting the potentially for vivid colour can still be achieved and is very much appropriate as I have been investigating aspects of colour and light and its effect on these geometric forms I have been producing.

Reflecting on this picture, I'd like to think it provides an alternative view of the so called constructed reality in which we live in. Perhaps it provides another way of seeing and experiencing, there is a relation to the real but it is redefined and played upon through a combination of form, colour and space.

Window, 19/1/13, coloured chalks on paper

Window, 19/1/13, coloured chalks on paper

Recently I have spent more time continuing to develop my drawings, I keep trying to find new ways to draw the eyes into different parts of the picture using the built environment as a source of inspiration.

I'd like to think with this latest picture I am coming a step further to realising that and I can see a progression in which I have become more conscious of my actions. In response to my thoughts concerning this picture, I have primarily concentrated on using the white space of the paper to enhance form, line, colour and light. Secondly I focused on using little variation of colour as possible but I still wanted to create a sense of depth and light. I also continue to think about the position of forms and how they too can contribute to creating a world ware the viewer is invited to enter, as parts intertwine and overlap and create space to peer into. 

Selected drawings, Disarray & The Way Home (8th January 2013)

Disarray, 2/1/13, oil pastels on paper

The Way Home, 2/1/13, oil pastels on paper

Just recently finished two more pictures, I decided to give oil pastels a go instead of the chalks. It has been a while since I last used oil pastels and it has takes time to get used to using them again and I still need to keep practising to build up my skill level.

I like the way its possible to really build up layers with the pastels, it was not a quick process as I had to constantly build up the layers to achieve the depth of colour and light I was after.

It seems more and more that the pictures I have been producing are taking on some life of their own, they just seem to evolve in a way I cannot predict the outcome. I find this interesting as the end result is always surprising and it challenges the way I see and identify. 

Selected charcoal pictures from October to November 2012

(Dream, 14/10/12)

(In-Motion, 1/11/12)

(Gloom, 28/11/12)

Today I finished a new set of pictures, it took me quite some time as I found my self constantly changing and reworking parts. Whilst working on these I realised though there comes a time when you do need to stop as a picture can be overworked, but it is difficult knowing when.

I have continued to use my photography as a source of inspiration for the work produced here, that still remains important as it acts as a catalyst to develop my imagination. Essentially I am reinterpreting the pictures I have taken by focusing on light, colour, line and atmosphere I get from looking at these pictures. I hope I have tried to capture some aspects of that here, but I know there is still a lot to develop, I hope to continue to produce more pictures.

Selected drawings (5th October 2012)

As recently I have not had the opitunity yet to get back into the practical side of making I have been instead focusing on the research side of things. I have been exploring drawing using some of the photographs I had gatherd from various locations as references to reflect and investigate upon.

Lately I have been mainly using minimal colour as I am just trying to find out how these pictures look if some elements are either coloured or not and also the way these formations of components react and respond to the space.

This is a new venture as not only the works exists in their own rite but also the works could potentially contribute to my overall research and practice. I will hopefully continue to add to this blog more developments in drawings and I have added a category for this to be housed in on the blog.

So I guess it's a good thing having the time out at the moment from making as I have got the opportunity to get stuck into the research side of things. Hopefully soon I could have the ability to get back into the practice itself.

22 July 2013

Book: Vorticism 1914-1918, by Paul Edwards. Thoughts and Interpretations

Edwards, Paul. (2000) Vorticism 1914-1918 - Ashgate Publishing Limited, England 

Recently I have been continuing my investigations into art movements, previously I had looked at De Stijl as I was interested in the concerns that were being explored within geometric abstraction. This interest has seemed to have continued as lately I have been reading into Vorticism from the book listed above as well as a few other sources. 

From my own understanding so far, Vorticism was a very short lived art movement originating in the UK. It began in 1914 and was only around for four years when in 1918 the movement ended. From what I gathered from the book, I think they were only around so shortly because of the outbreak of war at that time. I will talk about that a bit later on.

A variety of artists including a poet helped to shape this group during its short time, for example members included the writer and poet Ezra Pound, painters such as Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, Jessica Dimorr and sculptors such as Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier.

This movement seemed to have clear ambitions and was equally concerned with promoting its ideas to a wider public. It was a...
"... a genuine avant-garde movement having its own identifiable form of geometric abstraction and its own vibrant and aggressive magazine, Blast."(Edwards, Paul.  2000:9)
From what I understand of the movement is that people involved were influenced by the world around them at that time. The world was undergoing changes, new technologies were being invented such as fast transport and heavy industry, in tern  the world was experienced differently than what had gone before. It seems as though the members involved reflected this new experience of the modern age through their art work, see (Figure 1 and 2) for example.

(Figure 1) Jacob Epstein, Rock Drill, 1913-15 (reconstruction 1974), plaster and drill

(Figure 2) Edward Wadsworth, Dry Docked for Scaling and Painting, 1918, woodcut on paper

From looking at (Figure 1 and 2) I get the impression that these members saw a new future and they perhaps sought out a new type of visual model in which to contribute towards change and progress and humanitys relationship with industry and the machine age.
"The modern world is shaped by the industrial process, which is the main subject of Vorticist art." (Edwards, Paul.  2000:19)
 The book also mentions that the Vorticist's....
"...favoured the ideas of energy, purity, clarity of thought, hardness and power. This cool detachment placed the mechanical and geometric ahead of the organic and the naturalistic." (Edwards, Paul.  2000:19-20) 
So it seems the Vorticist's were in effect praising this new age, perhaps the machine age become their ideology, something they thought could improve or benefit humanity and drive us into the future. Maybe their art work was one way in which to assert this notion onto the eyes of the viewer and then perhaps the magazine aided this and their ideas.

As mentioned previously Vorticism was a short lived movement and I get the impression that this was because of the out brake of the first World War. They probably realised the potential and capabilities machines offered in the ability to do quite the opposite of benefiting people. It could and was harnessed to turn against people who created them for inhuman ends. Perhaps then they no longer saw a bright future between man and machine but rather the chaos and destruction it could and did achieve.


Edwards, Paul. (2000) Vorticism 1914-1918 - Ashgate Publishing Limited, England

List of Ilustrations

(Figure 1) Jacob Epstein, Rock Drill, 1913-15 (reconstruction 1974), plaster and drill.
 Edwards, Paul. (2000) Vorticism 1914-1918 - Ashgate Publishing Limited, England p55

(Figure 2) Edward Wadsworth, Dry Docked for Scaling and Painting, 1918, woodcut on paper. Edwards, Paul. (2000) Vorticism 1914-1918 - Ashgate Publishing Limited, England p38

6 July 2013

Aberystwyth 28th June - 2nd July "Beach side"

I have recently just got back from a four day event in Aberystwyth as I went to the International Ceramics Festival. Although I have not uploaded any images of that event yet I thought I would put up photographs I took whilst I was down there.

These pictures were taken from the beach side in what little spare time I had in the evenings. Again I took many photos and only selected ones that I felt were strongest form the lot. It seemed that the beach was an ideal place to take photos of the constructed environment as I was able to utilise in most photos the vast uncluttered space of the ocean and sky. This essentially provided an interesting backdrop for the objects in the foreground.

What I notice is that these objects rely on the space there in as the space helps to define the form and the form can also define the space and so relationships are created. In addition because of the time of day in which I took these pictures the lighting was at its most diverse. There are qualities of light and dark and this interacts with the space and objects within it. Colours slightly change or shift depending of the time and surface textures get highlighted. Everything interacts, not one thing is static.

I have also continued to investigate different modes of perspective to find ways in which to create a space that is immersive. But I also hope curiosity can be evoked as forms are taken out of context and perhaps this demands the viewer to become actively involved with the subject, searching in the juxtaposition of space, form, colour and light.

Perhaps these pictures remind me that the constructed world in which we experience on a daily basses can be seen in alternative ways that can potentially question our understanding. Maybe I am forced to rethink about what I am seeing, or could this just be my imagination.