Saturday, 15 January 2011

Time After Time...


'Escalator', John McLean, acrylic on canvas

I’m currently enjoying reading monographs on two favourite painters, John Mclean and Jock Macfadyen. I admire both artists a great deal and have read with great interest the individual struggles and hard won battles they have fought in their art to achieve what are quite singular visions in their own way, despite the many influences to be found in their work.
Their achievements have come through immense commitment but also so much time devoted to their work. It is time that has given them opportunities to develop ideas, experiment, end up in artistic corners, and take risks. Take it all apart and put it back together again.

'Tate Moss', Jock McFadyen, oil on canvas

I’m ruefully reflecting on this at the moment as I’ve had a slow start to the New Year in terms of getting in the studio. I want more TIME! Time to develop ideas, experiment, end up in artistic corners, and take risks. I’ve got bucket loads of commitment, that’s never a problem, but time as ever feels like a luxury. The luxury for the lecturer and parent who struggles to hold onto some sort of artistic practise.
I do seem to hold on though. I always do, its just some times are a bit easier than others. It’s a problem that most so-called ‘artists’ of any description constantly struggle with, be it the painter or the writer, unless they are hugely successful, which most aren’t (if you are to judge success in terms of making money. I try not to). The time in the studio though tends to make up for the difficult periods. The periods when the grinding gnaw and agitation of not getting in there really eats you up. Like I’m feeling now. Luckily I’m getting in there tomorrow…

John McLean

Jock McFadyen, 'From The Greenway', oil on canvas

It’s funny I find myself reading books on two painters that on the surface may appear at polar opposites. One, the lyrical abstractionist, the other a gritty realist. It’s all just painting to me, which is how I’m sure they view it too, but I find myself reading about them at a time when I’m wrestling with the direction of my own painting. I find myself enjoying creating paintings that explore the more lyric and abstract qualities in my own painting at the moment, but I am mentally wrestling with the idea of developing something that addresses my interest in something tougher and more urban. Of course, there is no reason why I can’t do both. No reason that is except for time….

1 comment:

John Smith said...

Many people think that painting is about to open a door from your mind to the real world and they're right, i really like to paint or even play games of fantasy because i feel like that's the life i wanted to live.

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