What is this work about?
Why black and white?
Thoughts of death and loss and grief; a stark, colourless experience.
What about the process – why layers? why pouring?
Challenging the need to control life and learning to be more open to allow things to ‘be’, to take on their own direction. Constantly re defining myself, learning, growing. Loosening up in my approach.
Building up a painting, semi obscuring what went before, using this as a foundation to build on, giving a richness and density to the surface, allowing the history of the painting to inform its development. Using loose wet paint, pouring, splashing, experimenting with oil and water – reducing control – a loosening up of process, even more than before, more gestural, more expressive.
Trees seem to ‘die’ each year, withdrawing its energy into its roots, lying dormant during the cold dark months, and regenerate each spring putting our fresh buds, new growth as the sap rises again.
We also go through periods of ‘death’, latency and new growth – which is the way of all living things. When life is bleak and dark, with no nourishment and little to sustain our growth, we retreat into ourselves, conserving our energy, gathering our strength for our eventual regeneration and growth.
Is this what the work has been about perhaps, the painting process mirroring this repeated pattern of death, dormancy and new life – covering over the first painted layer, allowing that layer to drip and run and dry, before then applying the next layer.
Growth comes out of adversity, new life comes out of death, a new painting emerges out of the remnants of the old. We grow and develop layer by layer, shedding branches that have rotted , and bark that we have outgrown, growing taller in stature and strength.
Why bare trees?
My trees seem to be in perpetual winter! Perhaps this is just where I am at – a little stuck and focused death, and dormancy, not yet ready for rebirth. However I have sense that spring is not so far away, and colour is beginning to emerge in some of my work. I may even be ready to come out of the trees soon.