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Monday, 26 March 2012

Phase 2 - shadow drawings

I am about to do some work on petri dish shadow drawings. These are something I started toying with many years ago and have been meaning to re-visit for a while. Previously I have done a few on a large scale (1 m x 0.8 m) and a number of 'samples' (see previous post) but have always meant to develop further. One of the digital outcomes I want to explore is laser etching on acrylic (in particular a double sided etch as mentioned previously here). The second phase of the Fabelist project seems the ideal time to pursue this area in more detail- along with other investigations into 'surface'. I currently have 4 different size petri dishes to experiment with - ranging from 47mm - 140 mm and I shall be concentrating on hand etching for now.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Moving beyond the grid...

Today, I'm tidying up all the loose ends before my show in a couple of weeks - sorting prints, frames etc.. I'm also about to gesso some boards as I'm considering doing some painting!!
I've been contemplating lots of things to do with mark and surface recently. I've always had this idea that drawing is about inscription and painting about surface (at it's simplest level) and as I'm thinking about putting more emphasis on surface it seems obvious that maybe now is the time to experiment with paint (probably in conjunction with drawing). Over the last 10 years I have regularly produced 'samples' - smaller size tests before moving on to a larger scale. I show them as a collection - a bit like a sketch book - and often they contain work which is in the pipeline but not yet developed. A selection from my recent exhibition is below - always individually contained within a 25 x 25 cm square and presented as a grid.
As I'm am really interested using petri dishes and/ or other circular surfaces the obvious thing seems to be to use these to experiment with some of the ideas I have regarding mark and surface and to eventually exhibit them together as an installation. Not only is the shape a bit of a departure but it it almost certain that they will need to be in a much more random configuration (a meander along the wall..) and the size will vary. All of the work will be addressing a specific train of thought (albeit in a diverse way) rather than anything and everything - and at the moment I have no intention of using as tests for larger works - so it is an interesting (and as usual unexpected) development....

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Axis update...

I've been really good and nearly finished updating my axis images (and drawing center etc....). I'm really liking the new axis artwork upload page. Much easier to use than before and now there aren't the annual restrictions I've been able to start adding and deleting images to give a better overview of my work. I have also finally uploaded my drawing recordings which I did back in 2005. These set off a whole chain of thought as I found I was unable to draw from them - too much of a 'gap' between hearing the sound and making the mark which in turn led to my dance reveal drawings. I really like sound - may be time to revisit in some shape or form?? I also intend to upload my 2004 gesture/ mark/ trace videos in the very near future - at the moment I only have stills online. Busy, busy, busy.....

Friday, 16 March 2012

16.03.12 Fabelist Post

You can read my latest Fabelist post here

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Scale and surface..

Today I have promised myself a whole day in my studio. After posting this I shall  pick up a pencil and do some drawing  but for the past 3 hours I've been updating my axis page etc. I can't believe how long these things take!! Some good news is I'm still the 'most selected' on ArtSelector
I noticed this a couple of weeks ago but expected it to be short lived so was very happy to see I'm still at no.1 (I did check to make suer it was right but the order had changed further down so it must be! :)) Funny how little things can really give you a boost.
I have a number of large drawings in the pipeline (could be a couple of years before they're finished) but today I'm working on small scale drawings. Previously smaller works have been tests or samples - and the scale has been a result of wanting to try something out before going on to the larger drawings - as a result it has always been a compromise when showing them without the larger pieces. What has been interesting with my current 'contact' drawings is that they are exactly the size they should be and I have no inclination at the moment to go larger. I am considering other even smaller scale options - in particular the microscope holders above and intend to do a whole series of petri dish pieces.
One of the things the smaller works have highlighted is my increasing interest in the surface - initially the subtle folds and creases in the paper - but I think this will develop further. I assumed this was a new interest until I realised that the series of 3 large 'twist' drawings I am working on (which were started at the end of last year) also have a much greater emphasis on the surface. Has got me thinking about how there is a gradual unwrapping of ideas and intentions and how once something key has been identified it becomes more and more recognisable as a recurring concern.....

Monday, 5 March 2012

The biggest drawing ever....

gather, 102 x 180 cm

O.K. - so I'm exaggerating - but it is the biggest drawing I've ever done and I've just finished it! As you will have realised I often post work in progress or as soon as it's completed (my work is so time consuming that if some one wanted to copy it they would have to be pretty committed (and slightly mad :)). I do however know artists who are very wary of showing work prior to exhibiting and I can completely understand that - too many people out there seem to find originality a difficult concept. I'm sure it's a common dilemma.  I tweeted recently about the Tatty Devine/ Claire's Accessories saga (details here). This was an extreme - I don't think there was any attempt to use the products as inspiration - they appear to be direct copies. However, we've all seen work which seems all too familiar and it is a really tricky area - at what point does inspiration turn into plagerism? If disputed works aren't visible how do you prove you did it first - even if they are visible how do you prove your work had been seen by the other person ? Does the view that 'there is nothing new..' explain it, excuse it or miss the point completely? There was a really interesting article here (images here) about a recent copyright ruling - but how do issues like this get resolved if the claimant doesn't have the money to pursue it through the courts? There is an ongoing olympic logo dispute (here) which is covering a few of the issues mentioned above e.g. had the artist's work been seen by the logo designers? I shall be watching this one with interest. A complex and difficult area.....
( As an aside I was really surprised ( a better word would probably be gobsmacked!) to learn that the words 'London 2012'  have olympic trade mark protection along with the more obvious and understandable logos etc.- summary here - madness!!)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

To frame or not to frame....?

frame painting residue
I.D. - ongoing (detail)

I've been spending my precious studio time this week painting frames black (I.D. card fodder above)!! I very nearly backed out of exhibiting next month at the Crompton as I am so busy - and we all know how much time these things take! However, I've realised that it will probably be time well spent as it will give me an opportunity to review some of the drawings from the Fabelist 'connect' project as well as my digital drawings a a whole. 
If you haven't encountered the Fabelists - pop over to the site and have a look. There are some really thought provoking posts.One of the things I've found really interesting is how many of the artists are touching on ideas which I'm either currently contemplating or have considered in the past and tucked away for future reference. Connections of creative minds... but with very different and diverse outcomes. As well as the ongoing projects - there are all sorts of other exciting things in the pipeline and credit has to be given to the director Francesca Goodwin for the vision to initiate this (and the unbelievable amount of work she does to sustain it!).
I'm currently waiting for my prints to be delivered before I finally decide on presentation for the show in April/ May. I usually avoid frames but in the case of my recent drawings have decided that I will not only frame but I'll make the frames really obvious - hence the black. Previously I haven't wanted to isolate drawings - I've wanted the viewer to move between works without the specific focus a frame gives. The new 'connect' drawings however are a different matter - they are relatively small and I want each one to be studied closely. The Crompton show will give me the chance to see how/ if it works...