Today a colleague and fine artist Ian came to look at my work. I really respect his judgment and felt relieved and reassured to have some constructive feedback from him.
The most interesting aspect of my work for him were the digital drawings produced on a basic mobile phone app. The shapes in these he liked because they seemed to be informed by the colour rather than compositional concerns. I believe this is a result of the limited language available to work with via the app.
He considered the large canvas paintings to be laboured and concerned too much with ‘design’. I agree with him on this point, they took several days to complete and lost the spontaneity am striving for as a connection to capturing fleeting atmospheric conditions.
Ian thought that I should continue disregarding any sense of depth or perspective that could relate the work to representational concerns. I should concentrate on abstract composition, flatness of surface and the quality of the edges of forms ie the blurring and softness that has evolved.
He mentioned Kenneth Noland’s ‘One Shot’ paintings:
In the early 1950s, Noland began producing a number of series, each of which explores a range of shapes and color arrangements and remains committed to his staining method as a means of overcoming the tactility of the canvas support with the opticality of pure color. Like Frankenthaler and Louis, Noland experimented with thinned, acrylic-based paints, which made it nearly impossible to revise or modify colors after the paint had penetrated the (unprimed) surface. To stress the care needed to execute these works, he referred to them as “one-shot” paintings.
“I wanted color to be the origin of the painting, I was trying to neutralize the layout, the shape, the composition . . . I wanted to make color the generating force.”
Noland adopted the circle as a way to make a “single expressive entity,”
I see the relationship to my own way of working , to have enough work for the final show I will have to produce large number of pieces accepting that only a select few will be good enough to exhibit.
Another artist mentioned during out discussion and who I am deeply inspired by was Patrick Heron.
Underlying every phase were his constant preoccupations: with colour as space; with line as an indicator of dynamic relations as well as of description of form; insistence on the primacy of decorative order in the composition of images that begin and end with the four edges of the paper or the canvas. Heron used that most rare and uncanny of gifts: the ability to invent an imagery that was unmistakably his own, and yet which connects immediately with the natural world as we perceive it, and transforms our vision of it. http://www.artcornwall.org/profiles/Patrick_Heron.htm
This was a really thoughtful and supportive tutorial which reaffirmed and took forward the ideas already going around in my head. Thank you Ian