Posts Tagged ‘My Paintings’

Blackpaint 87

March 15, 2010

 How do you know when a painting is finished?

One way is to check that there are no dead areas.  In the picture below, the dark green base can’t have anything more put in it – it would get crowded and fussy and anyway, it’s already performing the function of giving the structure some clear definition.  The ochre patch top left isn’t doing much, but again, I don’t want it to get too crowded.  I think the place to go is top right into the cloudy grey stuff.  That’s what I’m going to do anyway – see how it turns out.  The picture below is a development of the one I was doing yesterday; see Blackpaint 86 for earlier version.  And see tomorrow (Blackpaint 88) for how it turns out!

I’ve been using postcards for mark making, to scoop up the paint and trowel it around like a knife.  A couple of the cards have come out quite well in this process, so I’ve photographed them and will try paintings based on them (though of course, my paintings tend to go where they “want” to, rather than turning out the same as some pre-determined plan).  Here they are, anyway:



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”.



Blackpaint 19

December 18, 2009

My Paintings

Painted a lot today and I’ve finally got something that looks halfway decent – a light grey at the top with a sort of curved spear of black, green, white and charcoal poking up through it.  Another spear of reddish brown poking up on right, into a big area of ochre (that might be going lighter tomorrow, when I can buy more white).  Bottom half of canvas is a complex mass of shapes in reds, ochres, grey, black and blue, criss-crossed with charcoal lines – looks a bit landscapey.

This one goes well with two previous, the striped one that ended up looking like a Heron and the pink, orange, green and black patchy one.  Nice to have done some paintings I actually like; haven’t done that for weeks.

I think I’m going to stick some of my pictures in this blog – I’ve realised the obvious, that its not interesting to read descriptions of pictures; why do the paintings and then describe them in words?  I’ll have to charge the camera batteries up first, however. 

Short blog today, since I’ve done a lot of painting.

Watched “Carefree”, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with a brilliant swing dance song, called, of all things, “The Yam”.  Written by Irving Berlin, I think (the music, not the film, which is nonsense).

Listening to; Byker Hill, Trad, arr. by Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick

“If I had another penny I would have another gill,

I would make the piper play “The Bonnie Lass of Byker Hill…”

Blackpaint 18.12.09