Sunday, 29 April 2012

Road Kill

My comfort zone is always to work with drawing materials - pencils, pastels, pens. All my artwork, including my Subconscious Musings, invariably begin with these implements.

Currently, however, I am choosing to start directly with paint and only adding the linear to finish the painting:

"Road Kill". Mixed media on canvas, 50x70cm.

This for me is relevatory and exciting. Instead of the over-reliance on making drawings first, which I then colour in, this way of working has a far greater freedom to produce images that start from the abstract and build, layer upon layer, to become something new. Nothing is planned, it comes about intuitively.

The title, of course, comes from recognising some reality in amongst the abstract.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Life Drawing Session: 25 April 2012

Friday Drawing Session came early - on Wednesday.
You've got to act when the time is right, when the muse is calling, when the Moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter is in line with Mars etc, etc. 
I managed to make four drawings but show only three here. As I said before the first drawing is never any good. I've got to work out which end of the pencil I am holding. But when I get going it's High-ho Silver and Awaaaay. There's no holding me back:

 #1. Charcoal on paper, 43x59cm.

#2. Mixed media on paper 59x43cm.

The 'mixed media' starts with felt pens and finished with Neocolour II's.

You can clearly see some of the preliminary pale blue felt pen markings as I search for the form in this next one: 

3. Mixed media on paper, 43x59cm.

This last one was the most satisfying with the combination of striped sweater and stripey socks.

Friday, 27 April 2012


I have changed my way of painting. It's what I have been working on for the past year I suppose, but certainly since the turn of this year.

Generally it's a shift from trying to create a "proper" drawing and transferring that onto the canvas or board  then filling in the colour areas - a bit like painting with numbers which is what I was doing unsatisfactorily.

Now the idea is to build up a whole series of underpainted layers and, like my Subconscious Musings, respond intuitively and let the painting give me the direction it wants to take. This painting was not just happened. In the development of it I began to 'see' how it could be and began to emphasise those elements:

Mixed media on canvas, 55x110cm.

The one thing it does require is a certain fearlessness or confidence that it will all turn out right in the end.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

26 April 2012

I may not have been posting lately but I have been busy.

Sometimes there is a need for silence to hear what's going on in my own head, and while these daily Subconscious Musings may not neccesarily mean anything in themselves, or be 'high art', they are at least mine - a bit incomprehensible and chaotic, but structured and satisfying nonetheless.

Subconscious Musing, Black and White chalk on paper, 59x86cm

Many of my recent drawings have been made on white cartridge paper which sadly doesn't allow for the application of white markings, so, today I went into Glasgow, to Artstore, to buy some buff coloured paper which would allow me to extend my mark-making with white chalks. This is sugar-paper which is very sweet :o)