Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Rodgers’

Blackpaint 45

January 21, 2010


I’ve rung some changes in my paintings over the last couple of weeks;  I’m doing them landscape instead of portrait – big change for me – and I’ve been using more big slashes and masses of black paint.  i’m wondering if it’s because of the name I’m using for this blog.  Anyway, there is a sort of device or pattern which keeps coming through, in thr form of something like car side mirrors attached to great curved, or slightly curving, black supports or arms.  I’ve got four of these around me in the room now.  Two of them are basically black, red, white and blue-grey, two are  black, yellow, yellow ochre and blue grey.  Two are relatively cleanly painted and drawn – the other two much rougher, edges blurred, backgrounds sort of scraped and fuzzed.

Reading back over this, I see I’ve referred to a “sort of device or pattern which keeps coming through”.  That’s a real “Expressionist” way of looking at painting, as if the painter were some kind of medium, brushing and splatting and scrubbing away at a surface until gradually some pre-existing organic form emerges.  This is bollocks of course – there is no Platonic form floating around out there in the ether that chooses an artist and allows him/her to  fix it on canvas or paper, like a brass rubbing. 

Maybe, though, there are patterns which emerge during the process of painting that are determined by subconscious mental and physical attributes of the artist – the arc of a curve, say, or a preference to leave a section of the canvas unoccupied.

Or maybe you do something you like and copy it over and over, convincing yourself it’s different each time.

Hans Hoffmann

Just been reading about the above in Taschen “Abstract Expressionism”;  one thing that I liked –  he squeezed the paint directly from the tube to onto the canvas, thus (according to Greenberg) inventing the “heavy surface” in abstract art.  I tend to chuck it on from pots and then mix and work it in situ too.  I can only wish, as with so many others, my results were as good as his.

Listening to Chicago Bound by Jimmy Rodgers:

“I didn’t need no steam heat by my bed,

Little girl I loved kept me cherry red,

But I left that town,

Yeah I left that town,

When I left St.Louis, well, you know I was Chicago bound”.