work in progress: late 2017 - early 2018
Currently I am rethinking and reworking ideas that, in essence, evolved from a painting -oil on board - made in 1964 (see below). It began with a photograph, shot from above, of a woman treading water in a swimming pool. Initially, I intended to render a realistic painting but, as it developed, the 3D image became abstracted and flattened, and certain elements gained in significance. In particular, were the edges of the form and the lines around and across the swimsuit. The format of the finished painting was square and the background divided into three segments defined by the edges of the swimmer's arms, legs and torso
I liked what had evolved as an exercise in abstraction and out of a preoccupation with the flow of lines came a series of small paintings focused on movement. The format was again a square, the colours limited to three or four and the compositions mere arrangements of abstract, linear elements. For this series the finished products were acrylic on canvas - a medium more suited to the work than oil paint - and one I have stayed loyal to ever since.
For the next decade, the move away from representational imagery influenced a succession of ideas and images that permeated both two and three dimensional work. Here, the paintings are shown in black and white as the original colour slides were so faded with age that, even after adjustments in Photoshop, true colour could not be resurrected.
Recently my work has been developing from a recognition that, even in representational content of early 2017, ghosts from the abstract mid-sixties were reestablishing themselves. In essence, I rediscovered that certain elements and colour choices hold as much interest for me now as they did fifty-plus years ago. The difference today is that, in the intervening years, my experience with materials, mark making and surface quality has evolved. No longer is it sufficient to restrict myself to flat colour or for content to appear so minimal as to suggest that the work could be fabricated from plans and by a third party.
Perhaps, in 2013, I should have seen this coming when I revisited ideas from the mid to late 1970s. At the time, my interest was simply to recreate the original works in miniature, but with materials and surfaces more lively than those possessed by their antecedents.
Unlike their forebears of the 60s to mid 70s, the newest work engages materials as less of a material-monologue and more a sensuous-dialogue. Perhaps ironically, in order to move my practice forward I have been persuaded to look even further back in time. For now at least and apart from the this page's banner detail, the new work remains studio-bound as modifications are likely before it sees the light of day. Such is the process. Stay tuned.