Monday, 27 September 2010

'The night's synthetic half-light rolls over your steering wheel...'

Jock McFadyen, 'Roman Road'

There’s a pile of books knee deep at the side of my bed as usual. I often only seem to have time to read when I go to bed. But lately I’m enjoying lots of different books on painting and different painters that is seeping into my consciousness in the studio. I thought it might be interesting to share a few current things…

Jock McFadyen and Greyhound

I’ve admired Jock’s paintings for years, but have particularly enjoyed his urban landscapes since he has removed the figure and just concentrated on ‘portraits’ of the buildings. I love his palette. It has always spoken volumes to me about my own urban experience growing up in places like West Bromwich…

I’m continuing to be fascinated by Rackstraw Downes’ miniaturist-like landscapes of America’s armpits and wastelands. I love the paintings and how he can transform a landfill site into a thing of great beauty in paint, but I’m particularly fascinated by how he works entirely on location from direct observation, without any reliance on photography. He can spend months at a site. I find it a really appealing approach I’d love to be able to adopt.

Fairfield Porter, 'Beach', 1952

I love the spare compositions and restraint of feeling in Fairfield Porter’s work. I think the light and treatment of form is terrific. I feel that all the elements seems to coalesce with a great clarity that really moves me.

Brice Marden, 'Cold Mountain' series

These huge paintings by Brice Marden above, inspired by Chinese calligraphy are fascinating, particularly the process by which they are made. The drawing is carried out with charcoal and brush on long sticks, then worked over and revised. I’ve been inspired to look for long sticks of my own already to develop some of my drawings of natural forms in a similar way…

Morris Louis, 'Untitled', 1961

I’ve also been enjoying looking at Morris Louis’ enormous abstract paintings from the 1950’s and 60’s. The gestural mark making and processes involved in the creation of these great works, combined with Louis’ striking combinations of colour still seem very contemporary.

Byron Kim, 'Synedoche'

The book ‘Monet and Modernism’ has also been an interesting read, featuring many other Abstract Expressionist painters like Louis and second generation Abstract Expressionist painters from America and Europe. It explores their relationship with the great French painter and shows both the diversity of his influence, and has introduced me to some previously unknown painters such as Byron Kim (above).

The title for the blog comes from a track, 'Home', on the Villagers album 'Becoming A Jackal', which I'm loving at the moment too...

No comments: