Last month, I had just started working on a new series of works – playing with painting, photography and mixed-media on all sides of 7 wood blocks that I found outside of my studio.I have just recently put these to one side, they are probably finished now. They ended up being more of a research exercise as I tried various things and allowed my thoughts to wander all over them. Here are some of the observations I collected.
I very carefully primed one side of each block with a mixture of different pearlescent materials mixed with a primer. Once I had transferred the photograph to the surface I was hoping that some of the sparkly primer would shine through but it didn’t. More often than not the most successful side of the work was the unprimed surface. It provided more of an interesting texture and a contrast to my mark making.
The images of the ceilings and the walls that I transferred to the boards was not enough to inspire further work. I turned to images of rooms and interiors in books to gather ideas of things to try. Sometimes I let go of the original image and idea and responded to the surface, texture and colours I saw in front of me. So that when I did try including an example of an interior motif such as a wooden screen, it acted as a kind of interruption within the piece.
I tried to connect all sides, instinctively and thoughtfully. Paint marks travel from one flat surface to another. I play with receding lines and shapes, layers of paint, and stain and let the wood markings show through on one side. I explore perspectives, illusion, ideas of tension. I include graduation, directional pull and patches of matt and shine.
What started out as a simple interior of walls and ceiling become abstracted and morphed. Some bits fade and wane, other bits stand out and edges appear. Colour makes a statement, a whisper, an exclamation. They join another at a corner and create a dynamic of sorts. Each aspect, mark and smear of paint suggests something which connects to something else.
The work continues when I am not even there. As I sit at the top of the bus on the way home I study the world intently. I look at the tops of roofs, angles, and accents, edges and perspectives and how corners merge into other corners. I study construction sites with layers of scaffolding with space and depth that blend and contrast concrete, metal and wood. I note how the wind strains materials and shifts debris across a surface. I gather ideas for further works.