abstract artists

Why abstract? Some quotes and comments on abstraction, I find these useful to return to: ‘The picture is not the vehicle of meaning: it is the meaning.’ Patrick Heron.  Heron’s work stems from his belief of painting not being dependant on external references for its meaning:  the impact on the viewer is not dependant on describing the world beyond. For Heron, the meaning was in the painted surface, the all-over interconnected and unified visual field – balance of composition through colour, light and shape. The distinction between figure and ground does not exist as each colour-shape or area however large or small, is as important within the painting as any… Read More

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acrylic paints

I’ve been experimenting with acrylic paint as an alternative to oil paints. Firstly because I wanted to work more quickly, and acrylics dry in a few hours, or overnight. But also I’m attracted to the wide range of colours, and how easy these are to use thinly, as a fluid, or thicker with medium, and to add textures. For reference I’ve looked at artists who work in acrylic paint, or changed from oils to acrylics. Here are a few I’ve admired:  Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011) changed from oils to acrylics. Best known for her works in thinned oil paints poured onto unprimed canvas so that the colour would seep into the canvas, working… Read More

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Patrick Heron at Tate St Ives

Seeing this wonderful collection of paintings by Patrick Heron, with works at this large scale and alongside each other and from different periods, with one painting relating to another: intense colour, the pleasure of following a line across the canvas, the detail of a pattern, abstraction, looking from one shape/pattern to another around the canvas – this was an intense, exciting and joyful experience.     Here are the main ideas he persued:   Unity Heron strived for a balance across the canvas, the forms and colours interconnected by their position and their visual affect together, so that each area of colour/shape ” is as important within the painting as any… Read More

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Per Kirkeby

Image: “Untitled”, 1999 Oil on canvas 78 3/4 x 118 1/8 inches 200 x 300 cm  © Per Kirkeby, Courtesy Galerie Michael Werner Märkisch Wilmersdorf, Cologne & New York Danish artists inspired by geology, whose oil paintings are notable for their organic palette. Having read his obituary this week I’ve looked at his work online – https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/per-kirkeby-hon-ra and http://michaelwerner.com/artist/per-kirkeby/works I love the colours, the use of lines and scratches, sometimes abstract and other works are landscape, or possibly both within a single composition. He was a member of the New York based, international Fluxus group (Latin word Fluxus means flowing) which shared attitude rather than a movement, with experimental musicians and artists, somewhat revolutionary and anti-art.… Read More

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Open Studios Cornwall 2018

As I’m not taking part this year I am instead visiting a number of artists in north and east Cornwall. Particularly interesting for me today was seeing work by Sean Hewitt (Academician with the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts and member of the group of Abstract7) an abstract painter, working mainly in acrylics. www.seanhewitt.co.uk He works in vibrant colours which exudes ‘zest and vivacity’ – his words with which I agree. Seeing his use of colours, how they mesh and merge, has helped me think about becoming more positive and adventurous in my own paintings. I will take from this the excitement and use of strong forms and contrasts within… Read More

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the first swallow

I saw the swallow and heard the familiar chattering; it was drifting along in the warm air of late afternoon. This is the week that our swallows usually start to arrive, checking out the garage beams and their nests from previous years, hopefully this will be any day now.  And I watched a BBC clip of John Hoyland working on a painting  ‘Paintings are there to be experienced, they are events.” John Hoyland, 1979     Related Images:

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Howard Hodgkin

You need things to look at, things to affect your feelings, your intelligence and your heart.” Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017) I’ve been thinking about his paintings, after hearing that he died yesterday. And this evening looking at works his website and on the Tate website.  ” A great user of colour…  …invented his own language. Each picture is about something  – a place, a situation.” Andrew Graham-Dixon in conversation with Howard Hodgkin in 2010 https://howard-hodgkin.com/resources/films-and-audio From the media today: “They [his paintings] seemed like little jewels, hanging on the wall, radiating colour and light” Nicholas Serota “Each painting was a balance between released emotion and something coiled, concealed, withheld.” Colm Toibin   Related Images:

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International Women’s Day

Listening to Sarah Perry and Sally Beamish on Radio 3 this morning, a good distraction from paintings that have been waiting for me to get started on! These are 3 canvases, each 90x60cm, will be triptych for a coastal holiday cottage – so starting out very blue, working quickly to get a feel of the size and composition. Also with an additional canvas the same size, and another similar size, I’ll have a selection to take. Quite abstract, about the cliffs, rocks and sea, energy, light – about being there.   Related Images:

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