Thursday, September 13, 2018

Constancy of the Present

Thinking about existential-phenomenology, specifically Merleau-Ponty:
-a zone where being and consciousness coincide
-the constancy of the present
-"now" is an artificial way of constructing the present
-we exist in the present but what about memory?
-internal perception of time vs. clock time
-time is a fountain
-embodied stimulation
-the role of the body in perception (not just about the mind)

A few things:
-ontology = what is
-phenomenology = what appears

-plenum = the whole of space

-what does time look like?
-what colour is the present?
-what about colours that change? colours that change as you move (reflections?)
-what about colours that fade?
-what about colours that get harder/easier to see over time?

Philip Guston

Henri Matisse

Brice Marden

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Dekooning's Door

Inspired by his "Door to the River" (1960)
I like the tall rectangles
Figures, maybe
Through spaces
My conversation with him

Splashing, striking, tearing
To break through to something new

Slowly rubbing, drawing, deliberate
To make a boundary

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

to take the edge off

For everyone feeling a little anxious and high-strung today (could be the forest fire haze affects us subconsciously) here's a little something to look at to slow you down.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Internal truth

What is "internal truth?"
The soul?
A place deeper than thought or emotion
The inner life, deeper stream

Practical examples of soul-stirring (to show a few)

Rothko Seagram Murals

Bourgeouis Maman (Ottawa)

James Turrell

Kusama Infinity Net paintings

Philip Guston Sleep

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The subject of the painting

Painting an image of an object is, to my eyes, one of the more mundane acts a painter can do. Yes, I know the challenge of likeness and degree of "realism" is of extreme value, but the image stops at the recognition of the subject. There may be an implied narrative or psychological response to the image of an object but is that enough?
Painting a thing (an object stripped of its function or memory) is more interesting. The viewing experience engages more perceptual modes of the viewer; if the brain can't codify/recognize what you are looking at, it's going to keep trying to find a "meaning." This act alone can last for many seconds longer than looking at an image of an object (our brain are very adept at recognizing things). The delay in being able to name the thing might trigger thoughts about the colour, forms, paint, and other material/physical aspects of the painting.

Which is more interesting?


Credit unknown


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Is an image of a thing enough

 . . . to stir us?
We sleepwalking autopilots.
What does stir us?
The extraordinary (I love that word; so ordinary it becomes special)
The present is extraordinary
How can art . . . how can painting reflect that?
Is it possible to create a deep, meaningful experience, a slow releasing connection in a world of surface, screens, and instant gratification?

I believe in the poetry of the hand.
The touch of the artist.
This, in some ways, is the connection.

The mark is the artist's hand made visible.

I want to convey the small, incremental moments of life/time.
Life is not all grand gestures and drama.
It is made from the slow build-up of moments.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Modern Colour

Neon, fluor, screen, lights
Colours that are temporary
Colours that you switch on and off

Colour is always changing because colour is light.
Light is always in a state of flux.
Not Heavenly light, the spiritual
But light as particles
Light as waves
Light as universal law

The absence of light means darkness
But not necessarily black
The colour going out

White does the same


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Colour ideas for paint-heads

(Ramble alert)
I've been reading David Batchelor's Chromophobia and it confirmed a lot of things I've been thinking about in terms of colour and painting.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Process process process

Here are a few images of my current work in progress. What I find interesting with these "black" paintings is that I can turn down the light. I'm not able to do that with the cellophane works because the material is too reflective. It would be interesting to see them in dialogue with each other in a large and properly lit space.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Emily Carr and the mark

I'm still confronting my dislike for Emily Carr's paintings. I keep reevaluating my opinion of her work whenever I see it. I think that her less stylized works have a stronger presence than the stuff she's more famous for. What I do enjoy is her exploration of marks, not as accents or showing the spirit of the forest or whatever she was doing. But when the mark serves as a constructive element and as a gesture then I think her painting is quite strong.
I may do a future post where I site my favourite marks in art history. :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dimming the light

Dimming the Light, 30" by 30", oil on canvas

I find this picture to be quite interesting. It evokes a quiet intensity. And it's really strange because the matte surface of the paint (using Ad Reinhardt's technique of dissolving the paint to get rid of the glossy binder) absorbs the light. I think a work like this might contrast well with the cellophane works that I've been doing.
I wonder how low I can turn down the lights?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

An experiment with oil ground

I've been wanting to try using an oil based ground for my paintings on canvas and decided I would finally give it a try. 

Scrub PVA Size onto an unstretched canvas.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The aesthetics of plastic colour

I've been thinking about the colours used in plastics and found out that plastic is actually off-white in its natural state. So any colour is added must be a dye and the dyes that are used are chosen from our modern colour charts (by whichever company the plastic manufacturers use). This confirms the notion that contemporary colour theory is based on the colour chart and not the Newtonian colour wheel. I wrote an essay about this for my History of Looking and Perception class, it is below.

Corrosive Beauty, Benign Repugnance: The Buzz of Contemporary Colour