Blackpaint 97


That Borges story I was on about in Blackpaint 38, the one about the cartographer who made maps on the same scale as the ground he was mapping was from “A Universal History of Infamy” and was called “On Exactitude in Science”.  It’s only half a page long.  He got the idea from Lewis Carroll, it seems – or at least, Carroll had it first.

This painting is the most recent one I’ve done; I finished it last night.  I don’t think it’s particularly good, but it illustrates to me something that I wasn’t aware of before.  that is that some of my paintings are about integration and structure and some are about falling to bits.  This one, for instance, has a well defined structure stretching from the left edge to the centre of the canvas comprising black, white, grey and ochre shapes and one red.  There are looser areas of light green, ochre and white above and below, which give a superficial (and unintentional) impression of sky and reflections in water.  Structure and the illusion of foreground and background.  Compare this with the one below:

No background or foreground, no single structure or focal point – an “all over” picture, more or less.  It’s not actually “falling to bits” – but it is in pieces, sort of. 

So – I’ve got a bunch of paintings like the first one and some, but not many, like the second.   Not that interesting, I grant you, but a revelation to me.  Enough of that, however, because I hold to that idea that, if you know too much about what you do, you won’t be able to do it any more – and I want to do a few more yet.



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