Monday, 24 April 2017

Peter Doig on Bonnard

Peter Doig   White Canoe

Peter Doig  The Architect's Home in the Ravine

Peter Doig writes of Bonnard:
"Somehow he is painting the space that is behind the eyes.  It is as if you were lying in bed trying hard to remember what something looked like.  And Bonnard managed to paint that strange state.  It is not a photographic space at all.  It is a memory space, but one which is based on reality."

Pierre Bonnard  2005 in    Peter Doig, Phaidon.

Pierre Bonnard  The Intimiste

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The abstract trip

Angel of the North (work in progress)


Life study (work in progress)

I am experimenting with a more abstract approach, here are a couple of pieces in progress, made with a limited palette and over a build-up of marks and coloured shapes.  This is a free way of working which I love, but I maintain a precis study and exploration as well.  Here is a preliminary profile drawing of me.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Freedom and analysis

 I want to explore more of the free approach to painting that I experienced in Pauline Agnew's e-course.  I worked for months on this garden subject and know its colours and compositions well, so I did a colour sample of the colours, then went "free" with the resulting selection. I thoroughly enjoyed this moment of spontaneity and  freedom, and yet felt a bit lost because although it feels natural to me it is so different from the analytic and slow process of learning to paint.  The latter often produces good results.. eventually.  And I learn a lot, particularly the necessity of really engaging with a painting with all the despair that can entail.

So today I returned again to observational work, currently a self portrait (more struggle here!), but then suddenly saw a figure in the one of the little free pieces I did yesterday.
So I started to introduce it into the painting.  This is good because the energy is already there.  Also I think I realise what Pauline Agnew means by the background and the figure being one.

So what works for me at present is to stick with the painstaking observational work and studies of anatomy, but also to have some joyous playtime which brings together the figure and elements of colour.  These different processes can mesh, and provide a way of taking my painting into a new place.....
Dunblane painting

Colour sample from above
Free version 1

Free version 2

Starting to "find" a figure in version 2