|Both paintings seen from the balcony of the studio in situ during painting|
On gesture (from previous blog post Oil Paintings part 1)
The kind of gesture I am concerned with is fluid spontaneous and fleeting. The movement is instinctive and unconscious; whilst making ones thinking is deliberately abstracted so that intention is absent and response is unguided in a cerebral way. The state is somewhere else. Getting to this point or place takes a little time and concentration, not just within a day but over the time of making, a week or two. It is definitely the studio thing; concentration to the point of transcendence, if that does not sound too pompous! But, to focus on the specific. What of gesture? It is a recording of the mind in motion. Certainly more to do with movement, process and journey rather than end point or product. It is possibly something akin to Zuihitsu, the Japanese method of writing that translates loosely as 'following the brush'. Another correlation with Zuihitsu is the element of fragmentation. Areas of colour are brought together as if by accident, parts are relating through juxtaposition rather than by design. As ever, the image is made only by a process that has no defined outcome. The element of gesture applies to many artists, Saura and de Kooning for example. However, with Saura and de Kooning there is a figurative cohesion; the gesture is part of the construction of a subject (a figure). My stance however is that the mark itself is the both the subject and the image.