A sketch is the quickest response to a feeling. The truest expression of the artist. By adding work on it, it will stiffen, loose veracity and become fictitious. In most cases it will loose half of its initial life.
In a new series of works I’m trying to stop at the sketch.
gesso and charcoal on wood, 60×60 cm.
“I work a lot but don’t seem to finish. That is, I hope what I am doing means something because I don’t know what I am doing. It’s strange and terrible but I feel calm. Today I worked non-stop for six hours on a sculpture and I don’t know what the result is… Planes upon planes, sections of muscles, of a face and then? And the total effect? Does what I create live? …”
Umberto Boccioni 1912
“Io lavoro molto ma non concludo, mi sembra. Cioè spero che quello che faccio significhi qualche cosa perché non capisco cosa faccio. È strano ed è terribile ma sono calmo. Oggi ho lavorato sei ore consecutive alla scultura e non capisco il risultato… Piani su piani, sezioni di muscoli, di faccia e poi? E l’effetto totale? Vive ciò che creo?”
Out of a bigger picture, a detail tells a story on its own.
Two small works to celebrate my return to the studio.
In preparation for larger works little ones come up, fast and playful.
Happy once again.
When do you stop?
The beauty is in the making,
A story changing as I draw,
It should become a painting…
… or not…
When do I stop?
I do get asked when my exhibition is… often.
“Soon” I’d like to answer.
The problem I have is that painting with an exhibition in mind takes away my enjoyment of actually doing it. And I have tried to give myself deadlines, but have fallen short under the weight of marketing requests.
Every one of my works is an adventure I like to enjoy and make personal. It takes time and cannot be rushed. It is a moment of unique pleasure, the telling of an intimate story. I must paint knowing that the canvas I am working on is the true story I want to tell; selling or not is not the point. Not last, to think of my work towards an exhibition restricts me to the market’s requests and trends [this will never sell.. the gallery won’t show that…] or rush up works because the deadline is near. As a consequence the work I end up making may be soulless or incomplete and ultimately I will regret showing it. It has happened and I have learned not to do it again. Hence, I refrain to commit to dates until I know I have a good number of canvases finished already.
At times I just like to make drawings, or little sketchy paintings… or sit there and do nothing. Funny how some people think the life of an artist is made of leisure and beauty, wine drinking and intimate sessions with beautiful models. Well, there’s bills to pay, drawings that ‘don’t work’ and days of non inspiration… but all this IS part of the creative process and must be savoured. I like the sense of freedom I get from knowing that what I’m working on is the true expression of my artistic experience.
So, to answer the question I have started with…
“I am working towards an exhibition, yes, but am not ready to fix the date yet…”
I’ll advertise, I promise.
And thankyou for asking
When I take photos of animals I also memorise a feeling that will help me later express a story in a picture. That’s why it’s important I am there and take the pics myself.
When I saw the photo that Nicola took in her South African trip, I knew immediately that would become a painting. Or two.
I actually made two, small yes, and quickly painted to stay effective. I watched them grow together, allowing them to become different…
Even though I didn’t take it myself, the photo conveys a powerful story and the composition is very effective. It proved very alive to me.
So I ‘borrowed’ it.
Easy to say.
Yet, the art of subtracting is not as easy to muster as we may want to think.
Take ingredients away from a recipe and make the flavour stronger..
The beauty in a quick passing moment.
How many times I struggle to feel satisfied. What am I looking for?
Always busy looking away. Far away.
Yet beauty is always under my eyes, when I just look.
Like words may distract from the story itself, colours may steal attention from the whole.
Black & White.
At times, less makes it more.