I’m still working on a method of ‘building’ a painting. Now that I’ve done the background work, I’ve taken photos of the whole, and of the sections which are more interesting, and I’ve started to work on a set of drawings from the photos, so that I’m basically drawing the shapes of the drips and paint spreading marks on the canvas. It’s quite an exciting process, I’m finding. I think my aim is to help me to get to know the painting better. As it’s 15′ long, and a curved surface, it’s not so easy to take it all in properly. Drawing helps me to concentrate on what’s actually on the canvas. I would like the final layer of painting to be sympathetic to what’s gone on underneath, and these drawings will help me to keep a record of what happened ( I intend to paint most of it out), and to work forms on the surface which reflect, echo, resonate with the original marks. It’s reminding me of the work that Ingrid Calame does with her sheets of mylar, meticulously copying the signs of human occupation in the contemporary world. I like the thought of a cartographic relevance to my work, though I have a lot of thinking and working out to do to develop that into anything tangible in my practice.
I have a layer of landscape information to put on to the canvas surface, once the gesso layer has done it’s job of making the underpainting hazy, or ghostly. The landscape information comes from sketches that I made while I was walking on the site I’ve chosen. This is an important part of my practice, to physically walk on the landscape and take in the feel of it. I make quite a few rough sketches as I’m walking to record what linear movement I’m seeing, and then back in the studio I develop abstract drawings from them. For this particular project I’ve only made one A2 drawing so far, but I’m also working on a couple of A1 pencil drawings, abstract of course, using combinations of the same visual information. I hope to use a simplified version of a small sketch or possibly two, to make the main focus of the work on this final piece that’s for the degree shoe. Although it may not end up being the main focus. As the structure I’m painting on comes apart into three sections, I shall soon be working on each section individually, as there isn’t enough room in the college corridor for me to paint seriously there, and there isn’t room in my studio space at college to paint the whole thing as one unit. I like the challenge of this. And it seems appropriate for there to be three parts as the impetus for this piece comes from thinking about the word ‘resonance’, a resonance with the Mesolithic people that once occupied Star Carr, specifically through the vehicle of myth and story. Three sections point to narrative, to beginning, middle and end, so it’s all good.