Thursday, 15 November 2007

Work in progress

Hello Dai

How are you getting on with your preparations? The exhibition sounds so exciting - wish I could be there to come and look and cheer but no chance this December, I fear. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of it.

It's a non-stop mad house here with people coming and going, eating, drinking, talking (not sleeping much). I skive off from time to time and hide upstairs.

I know you won't have time at the moment to read this or comment, but thought I'd just make a few notes about what I'm doing.

I've got 3 paintings on the go:

1) Statue looking at sky - not a painting yet, but it will be
have made 2 sketches (first one A5 in sketch book, second one A2, second one a bit different) for the statue looking at the sky - or whatever it turns out to be - thought it was 2 heads 3 (2 heads 1 is the drawing on the right of the blog, then there was another scribbly thing that turned into 2 heads 2) , but maybe it isn't. It might be another hidden woman (in fact nearly every painting I do contains a hidden woman). The image came from the impression of looking at the fiery sky outside Leeds Art Gallery just before closing time. Somehow this image developed and translated into a continuation of the heads pictures. With the second sketch though it seems to be developing into something else. I'm not ready to paint this yet, but it will come.

2) Gledhow Valley Woods
drew this from photograph - loved the shapes and the colours - feel frustrated that I did it with polychromos - they're not bright enough and their edges are too contained. Will change the paths to white and grey (from yellow and orange), I think. Might paint it again. It's much too dull and pretty as it is - an embarrassment. This was an attempt at a landscape but it failed. I started off representationally, as drawing practice, but got carried away. Then it ended up looking pretty. But it has possibilities ..... I do like the shapes, and the magenta, grey, white and green of the original impression. Must have a go with those colours and ban my insistent yellow for a while.

3) Going down
based on photograph of stairs down from top floor, have painted the lines - now I just have to paint the shapes and the colours, the spaces in between, the important bits. I'm enjoying looking at this before I go further. It feels v. satisfying so far. Need a few hours when I won't be disturbed so I can do the next bit.


1) Have done a couple of sketches of Jay - they've got mistakes in them. I like one of them. I'll do some more. Need to use hard pencils as well as soft.

2) Did a sketch of Keith, an old friend, 70 now and he had a stroke a couple of years ago. It's not good because I haven't got any depth to him - it's all too pretty. Used only hard pencil - must use mixture.

3) Nothing further from the course book - will get back to it soon.

And hallelujah! Palette knives and Steiner's Real Presences have arrived all at once - as I was writing this.

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