Saturday, 28 January 2012

Inside, outside

In the past few weeks, Megan Chapman and I have visited more galleries in Edinburgh than I ever have in such a short period before. We have seen so much art in all of these galleries, that much of it has blended together. This in itself is telling, yet after writing big art thoughts last week, this week I am more inclined to  look inwards, rather than out.

There is now a little over two months to go before my rather important joint show at Union Gallery with Kevin Low. One of the effects of looking at so much art recently has been to pull my ideas about what I want to paint and how I want to paint in different directions. Given that I have already began working towards the show, this was not altogether welcome. So it was that, after a splurge of gallery visits last weekend, I settled down to get some painting done.

As it happened, I did not quite paint as much as I had hoped to. My unfocussed mind would not quite settle and so I resorted to the time-honoured technique of tidying up my studio and taking care of other necessary art-related tasks. Principally, this involved painting the wooden edges of my pieces.

One of my recently finished pieces, currently untitled.
© Stewart Bremner 2012; Mixed media on board, 12x12"
To begin, I painted the edges white, however I was concerned that this would cause them to blend into the gallery walls. Instead I tried using black, which seemed the most natural next choice. Again, there were some drawbacks. Both colours (or, rather, tones) worked well and, being unable to settle on one, I opened the debate up to the interwebs. I received many and varied responses, although as yet have still to make a concrete decision.

After discussing the edges on my work, attention in my studio turned to their fronts. I have so far began twelve paintings. Looking at them altogether, it is clear that only a few of them are finished. While there is potential in the rest, plenty of work still needs to be done to them.

I had thought more of my paintings were finished prior to this re-evaluation. Where in the past this finding may have worried me, presently I find that I am relishing the challenge. I've got two months to get this show right and I feel that the pieces I have finished are amongst the best I have ever painted.

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