Friday, 3 February 2012

A third of the way there

The studio, today
I've been working on my next show for over a month now, with a day or so over two months remaining until the exhibition opens. So far I have painted twelve pieces, of which only three are still in need to attention. Several pieces whose finalising was last week proving troublesome, have now been upgraded from 'most likely finished' to 'almost definitely finished'. It was a pleasure both doing so and being able to do so.

This afternoon I sat with all twelve paintings and watched. What stuck me was that my favourite piece has kept changing over the course of making the work. In the first rush, I created two strong pieces and then felt I had a slump. For a while I was worried that I would not be able to paint anything that would rival those first two. Today I realise that I have, almost certainly more than once. Indeed, I might even have made some better!

Another aspect of the work I've been pleased to note today is its evolution. I began this series with a narrow, if poorly-defined, theme. As the work has progressed, this theme has by necessity expanded. I have thus become less absolute about what I want the paintings to express. Changing in this manner chimes with a narrative that runs though much of my work (which I could, if I was feeling particularly pretentious, call a meta-theme): the meeting of order and chaos. In this instance, where before there was rigid order in a single narrow theme, now chaos it taking the dominant position (and I am attempting to keep up).

The style of the paintings has also changed over the month. Initially (at least in my mind), the work had some similarities to my later Hidden Messages pieces. Moving from this, the work at first change darkened and became more intense, before more recently becoming airy and lighter. Yet though all of this, I can still see a commonality, beginning with my normal orange, blue and black colour palette.

Next week, some large boards that I have on order will be ready. It has been a while since I painted on anything larger than one square foot and it is going to be a challenge to increase my scale. However, it is a challenge that I am am going to relish!

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