23 November 2020

Celf o Gwmpas Walkway Project Research and Idea

The walkway that runs parallel with Tudor lane and connects the centre car walk and Station way has seven recesses areas, each with a seating area built into the wall and well covered with a glass canopy having a promenade feel. Opposite the walls is an incline with well established evergreen planting. 


My first walkabout in the town revealed many architectural features that had visual possibility. I look for shapes and distinctive features that can become part of a composition. Something inherent in what is already made. A kind of transformation. Featured elements from my first walkabout include Tom Norton Cycles; cycling (referencing the National Cycling Museum); decorative features from Williams Butchers building, Temple Street; the griffin derived from Castel Collen particularly referncing the iron work griffin on the refurbished Exchange House Spa Road; Middleton Street floor tiling; cheese making machines (museum); the abstract work of Islwyn Williams (museum); Kilvert (museum) and the railway. 

Middleton Street Floor Tiles

Art Deco Tom Norton Cycle building, now National Cycle Museum

Hygeia, emblem of the town, to feature in design

Turner Company cheese making machine from Newtown

Fantastic shapes, the arms bend

Griffin on Exchange House, Spa Road

Castel Collen Griffin

String course along Williams Butchers, Temple Street



Islwyn Watkins (1938 - 2018)

Following the walkabout and reflection on the themes around the town of Llandrindod Wells, I resolved to make an idea of a frieze like work using all seven of the recess areas of the walkway. I recently was in the British Museum and looking at the Parthenon frieze. The horizontal continual visual dialogue seemed to resonate with the walkway project. 

First sketchbook ideas began to develop. 













21 November 2020

Celf o Gwympas Walkway Public Art Commission

Successful application outline document for project at Llandrindod Wells:

























17 November 2020

Art in Isolation: Curator Space and Culture Colony


Studio Diary May 2020 video features new paintings and reflects on the changing international situation for practice. 

Reflective comment Art in Isolation: Making During Covid 19 Spring 2020 featured in the previous post and included below,  published at Curator Space and Culture Colony:







Art in Isolation

 

Making during CD 19 lockdown: Early Spring 2020


 

The lockdown came at a time when I was planning to be in the studio for a time of production as for the past two years I have been travelling on residency placements and in most cases, new work has been left with the host collections as part of the terms of Residency.

 

Therefore as the light began to improve in February, the desire to work in the studio was high plus, during March and April, due to the warm weather the studio began to warm up sooner.

 

Initially in February drawings were made. These are large acrylic works using black and white with a mixed grey seeking to explore gesture, expressive application of media and tonal relations. I aimed for an overlaying of liquid paint to become an expressive force.. emotionally charged and with fluidity in form. In contrast to previous more geometric work, I sought to consciously redefine. With the colour of blacks, Pierre Soulages (1) and Franz Kline were, and have been constant sources of inspiration and now seemed to be the time to embark on a redefined language in my work. I think it is a huge step to break away and redefine ones language in this way; followers and identity are shaken with a change of direction.. but the desire and challenge remain so this transformation of practice maybe is part of the objective and clear state of a questioning practice.

 

Working on large boards with three sheets of paper on each, moving from one to one as floor based production is in play due to the fluidity of the paint, working in series really takes precedence here; each flows on from the other and in a way there is no direction to them in a linear sense. Backwards and forwards, top to bottom, drawings are worked on in an unconscious semi-automatic way; responsive to what is already present yet cancelling, adding and changing at the same instant.

 

A number of canvases I had prepared from just before I went to Australia remained waiting in the studio and now able to use. Primed for oil paint and all mid range in size on stretchers I had made ten years earlier (at least) I now embarked on a series of oil paintings that would directly develop the progress of making that had taken place on the residencies, namely the more expressive way of working. It is closely aligned to the medium and allowing viscosity of paint to be developed and adapted in as broad a range as possible and moreover, specifically to attempt to have a liquidity for oil paint that would enable the most fluid non brush mark.

 

I found myself, applying paint and leaving, so with oil an element of overlay would be possible. Technically I had never done this before and using long liner brushes, the paint line is distorted but has a tension that is away from the direct hand drawn brush mark and creates painting that is almost as if it has developed on its own accord. This is always a priority for me; that paint and colour look as if they have just come together. This is still a key aim, despite the almost opposite way of applying paint: no masking tape and a fluid almost splash like mark. The paintings, at the time of writing, are still drying (oil paint takes six months plus) but the results look promising. Certainly image wise, there is good result in several of these paintings I feel. One technical note of importance is that after twenty years or more, I have started using pure linseed oil (bought from Paul A Daniels in Hackney E9 in the late 1980s) that has remained on my palatte for this time (in the sunlight) and it is in first class condition (not the plastic container!) . This mixed with pure turpentine makes a heady medium for oil paint adding to structure rather than destroying (as white spirit does). The medium of oil paint remains for me the premier paint.

 

A4 Luxlakes Art Museum run an artist in residency programme and devised a project Artist Voice for the lockdown, currently showing as 60 Days of Lockdown. Participants would answer a number of questions preferably by video. I answered the questions with a one minute video of the everyday journey to the studio and sketch of things going on. This low resolution video is designed for mobile screen size:



 


 

 

(1) I travelled to Paris in early March for the retrospective of Pierre Soulages at the Louvre, it was closed because of Cd 19 on the day I went but a good selection of his work was at the Pompidou.







29 June 2020

Making during CD 19 lockdown: Early Spring 2020




The lockdown came at a time when I was planning to be in the studio for a time of production as for the past two years I have been travelling on residency placements and in most cases, new work has been left with the host collections as part of the terms of Residency.


Therefore as the light began to improve in February, the desire to work in the studio was high plus, during March and April, due to the warm weather the studio began to warm up sooner.



Initially in February drawings were made. These are large acrylic works using black and white with a mixed grey seeking to explore gesture, expressive application of media and tonal relations. I aimed for an overlaying of liquid paint to become an expressive force.. emotionally charged and fluidity in form. In contrast to previous more geometric work, I sought to consciously redefine. With the colour of blacks, Pierre Soulages (1) and Franz Kline were, and have been constant sources of inspiration and now seemed to be the time to embark on a redefined language in my work. I think it is a huge step to break away and redefine ones language in this way; followers and identity are shaken with this change of direction.. but the desire and challenge remain so this transformation of practice maybe is part of the objective and clear state of a questioning practice.











Working on large boards with three sheets of paper on each, moving from one to one as floor based production is in play due to the fluidity of the paint, working in series really takes precedence here; each flows on from the other and in a way there is no direction to them in a linear sense. Backwards and forwards, top to bottom, drawings are worked on in an unconscious semi automatic way; responsive to what is already present yet cancelling, adding and changing at the same instant.





A number of canvases I had prepared from just before I went to Australia remained waiting in the studio and now able to use. Primed for oil paint and all mid range in size on stretchers I had made ten years earlier (at least) I now embarked on a series of oil paintings that would directly develop the progress of making that had taken place on the residencies, namely the more expressive way of working. It is closely aligned to the medium and allowing viscosity of paint to be developed and adapted in as broad a range as possible and moreover, specifically to attempt to have a liquidity for oil paint that would enable the most fluid non brush mark.







I found myself, applying paint and leaving, so with oil an element of overlay would be possible. Technically I had never done this before and using long liner brushes, the paint line is distorted but has a tension that is away from the direct hand drawn brush mark and creates painting that is almost as if it has developed on it own accord. This is always a priority for me; that paint and colour look as if they have just come together. This is still a key aim, despite the almost opposite way of applying paint: no masking tape and a fluid almost splash like mark. The paintings, at the time of writing, are still drying (oil paint takes six months plus) but the results look promising. Certainly image wise, there is good result in several of these paintings I feel. One technical note of importance is that after twenty years or more, I have started using pure linseed oil (bought from Paul A Daniels in Hackney E9 in the late 1980s) that has remained on my palatte for this time (in the sunlight) and it is in first class condition (not the plastic container!) . This mixed with pure turpentine makes a heady medium for oil paint adding to structure rather than destroying (as white spirit does). The medium of oil paint remains for me the premier paint.


Photo shows oil paintings on the easel and on the floor the acrylic on canvas paintings in progress


Preparation of two canvases on stretchers made 25 years ago and recycled. In the foreground the acrylic on canvas paintings progress


A4 Luxlakes Art Museum run an artist in residency programme and devised a project Artist Voice for the lockdown, currently showing as 60 Days of Lockdown. Participants would answer a number of questions preferably by video. I answered the questions with a one minute video of the everyday journey to the studio and sketch of things going on. This low resolution video is designed for mobile screen size:






featuring Batwa No.5 Oil on Canvas completed early on in the lockdown time


(1) I travelled to Paris in early March for the retrospective of Pierre Soulages at the Louvre; but it was closed because of Cd 19 on the day I went but a good selection of his work was at the Pompidou.