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I am not going to attempt to explain my work, so read on if you wish.
You may have gathered from viewing the site, that since 1968 my paintings have been in abstract mode.
May I say at this point that I am constantly disappointed by many peoples' failure to consider or accept 'Abstract Art' as a form of expression, almost as though it is an 'alien form'. Surely it must be the most pure form of self expression. The most common comment heard is 'I don't understand it'.
So many people automatically dismiss it! They walk by an 'Abstract Painting', without looking at it.
Why, why, why????
'Abstract Art' does not have to be understood. It just needs to be looked at. Looked at, but not with a fleeting glance, but some contemplation, then liked or otherwise.
Many things in our life are abstract, like the taste of a banana or the smell of a freshly sliced cucumber, orange zest or freshly ground coffee. Do we try to understand these?
There are many other examples, for instance, instrumental music, whether it be pop, classical, or jazz . Are they not abstract?
'Wonderful Land' by the Shadows,'Rasoumovsky's String Quartet' by Beethoven, 'Land of the Midnight Sun' by Al di Meola, Schubert's' Trout Quintet', 'A Kind of Blue' by Miles Davis, Carlos Santana's 'Samba pa ti' etc are all just a bunch of sounds put together. Then there's Bartok and the Ozric Tentacles. What a great name for a band! As I hope you know, they are seperate entities, many years apart, though they both evoke feelings in me. Perhaps both are too challenging for many people , but what is wrong about being challenged?
Do we 'understand' the music by these musicians?
In the above mentioned, there is composition, structure, (maybe sometimes lack of it), rhythm, texture, much like marks and colours on a canvas or board. Do they not all evoke feelings or emotions?
I feel it is sad, but think that music is much more accessible to the general public, than the visual Arts. One can just simply turn on the radio, or go and buy a CD. One could question how many television programmes are devoted to painting and sculpture. Most visual arts programmes only feature the work of the usual: Monet, Dali, Van Gogh, Warhol etc. and the more recent Damian Hurst, Tracy??? etc.
I am almost convinced that very few of the population are aware of what happened between Picasso and the relative recent times in worldwide abstract painting and sculpture. Perhaps a couple of names which may come to light are Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
I apologize for this rant!
I believe the craft of an abstract painter is very much like that of a musical composer, poet or song writer. Initially there is a thought, image or idea, which is then developed.
My work is a process of visual observation and stimulation. This is absorbed and stored. Then follows manipulation, experimentation and expression. Often, experimentation is very stimulating, and opens up other avenues.
Journey through life is complex, and anyone choosing to create, whether it be through music, poetry, song writing, abstract sculpture or painting, perhaps travel a different road to other people.
Is this bravery or stupidity?
I quote from a statement made by Mark Rothko, Adolf Gottlieb and Barnett Newman in 1943. (WOW! 4 years before I was born).
1. To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be
explored only by those willing to take risks.
2. This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.
3. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world not his way.
4. We favour the simple expression of complex thought.
I have always been interested in nature, and during the period of my not painting, I took a more simple route of expression, through photography, and it was to a large degree the abstract elements of nature which interested me, in this media. Perhaps some of my paintings reflect this.
I have never analysed my work, but, in retrospect there seems to be an underlying trend, that being the contrast of order and disorder, or softness and hardness, sometimes just disorder, but with harmony.
I would like to think that my work usually is not confrontational but has a certain amount of sensitivity and subtlety to it, much like listening to music, when you don't grasp it all at the first listening.
It would be untrue to say that I have not been influenced by other artists. In my teenage years I was looking at works by all the old masters, Leonardo, Rembrant, Durer etc, then there was , Cezanne, Van Gogh, Mondrian, Klee, Constable, Turner, Monet. There was also ,
some of the Fauvists, German expressionists and American Abstract Expressionists.
What a journey!
This list may be diverse. All these artists have inspired me. I have already said, nature has always been an influence and an inspiration, as is everything I see.
On resuming painting after a long break, having many images, ideas and thoughts stored in my head, the situation was frightening. It was a case of just doing anything, to find my expressive painting head and feet again, using my hands, or what came to hand!
I was a bit surprised by what happened.
I am in the process of working on various ideas and themes.
Unfortunately, due to finances, I can no longer afford to rent a studio. (November 2011)