Saturday, 12 December 2009

new studio space

New studio space as Euroart moves. Similar size but higher ceiling and bigger windows.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Just cover the parts of the good bits of the painting surface with maskingtape. The piece of tape that is torn determines the shape of the part that will will be saved when painting over or around the area.
The good bits are often textured, areas of colour clusters ranging in tone and intensity. They have been built up by layering.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Oh and

Some of my work is for sale.

Would be happy to discuss any enquiries.

Please drop me a line if you are interested in any paintings you have seen,

'in the real',

or on the webspace -

email :

Best wishes, Nick

end of show

Exhibition ended at Zed bar.

Something in the pipeline at another venue for Sept 2010.

So watch this space..

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Friday, 30 October 2009

clicked conundrums

Eureka moments...

Something clicked this week when going to the studio to paint. What was it I wonder?
Weeks or months of looking and pondering looking and pondering then
by the second day I had painted renewed and rejuvenated 12 paintings that had been sitting idly in the studio, generally not going anywhere by the look of them all.

Not saying they're going anywhere now mind.

But together they all look part of a body of work, rather than this and that.

Some I still might want to do bits to, nothing major.

But maybe they are finished.

I also got to tackle the two bigger canvases (see Sept posts) which was thanks to the smaller ones.
Sometimes when looking for what to do next you are too busy focusing what is up ahead that might be noisy and colourful, when maybe the simple thing next to you under your nose is the right choice to make.
If I knew it was there sooner would I have acted sooner ? The simple things are hardest to notice when you are busy trying to look for something.

All assumptions of course and proof is in the looking.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

half term break

Mo and Jims house in Ireland

ramble on

Hooray - studio time - lets go.

Starting with this:
I harbour many approaches to making a painting, but perhaps central is my exploration of the relationship of paint with surface. Mostly I am interested in the potential of orderless marks in the whole painting process, taking each painting as far as it will go. Drawings and photographs are randomly selected and referred to in an ambiguous way, but can give vital reference points in navigating the course of the paintings' construction.
June 2009

To this:

Adopting strategies is key for the continuation of making. No single plan or strategy dominates or a set formula adhered to.
Any method discovered in the making of the painting is used and or tested but may not take the painting all the way to its final conclusion.

There is a drive to take the painting as far as it will go, to explore all possibilities. This seems to be the key objective that is consistent with my work.

Often paintings will fall by the wayside and be put aside in the studio for long periods of time.

Sometimes they may declare themselves finished before they really are.
At each stage of the painting consideration is given to its status.

The paintings are layered and I often use masking tape to cover specific areas before applying an allover coat onto the surface. This is just a way of masking or blocking.
The shape of the piece of tape torn off is just like the mark of the brush from the gesture.
Some areas on the surface become textured and built up. When layers are added.
Some paintings have begun as collage, built up cut up canvas or board pieces on MDF.

Figurative elements that get thrown up in the process of applying paint is an accidental thing and does not aim to have significance, but may play significance in the piece for the short term.
It will often act as something to go against.

Good bits of painting, areas that work compliment or contrast or happy accidents are lost or painted over for the good of the whole painting.

The painting as a whole will be considered before this happens, so the plane or surface on the painting is the reel of film and so the 'editing' occurs with the use of the masking tape on the chosen areas.

What I am trying to achieve with a painting is the thing having a presence of its own.
By this I mean having its own life through suggestion of what is and what is not visible to the eye. The painting as an physical object with sensations experienced and related to, but made sense of.
We try to see how one thing relates to another and maybe see things as a whole and but only certain things are revealed to us.

Something along those lines.......

In our lives we are governed by deadlines and therefore we make choices how we divide time up and spend the time according to our needs and interests.

Anyway far too much ramble.

New paintings in progress

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Stephen Newton painter

paintings of thickly crusted applied oil paint with simple depictions of space. Of course there is more too it than that.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

interesting post:

readgrins's profile picturereadgrins

02 Oct 09, 12:05pm (about 22 hours ago)

Personally, I see the Stuckists as reacting against gallery-power; the notion - which readymades and conceptual art to a great extent rely upon - that anything, so long as it is placed within the context of a gallery, acquires the status of art. This decline (again, this is my personal viewpoint) is mirrored in the habit of current literary criticism to see its role not as the ascription of a judgement of value to a piece of work, but rather as the description of culture by the examination of a cultural artefact. With the former aim, one can make distinctions between pieces on the basis of merit; with the latter, all pieces become equivalent, as mere symptoms of a wider social 'illness' to be diagnosed: the possibility of saying that, say, Milton is better - that is, has more creative and artistic merit - than Madonna, becomes impossible.

The retreat into figurative art seems, in the light of this, natural. Figurative art - the imitation or replication of the human form - is recognisably art without the contextualisation of a gallery. Not to the extent that it is imitative, but rather innovative with the form it inherits. If you find the Venus of Wittenberg on a rubbish heap, it's artistic value is obvious, because it is intrinsic. A 'found object' on a rubbish heap is simply a part of the rubbish heap - its artistic value is only acquired by removal from its context, and placement in a gallery. All things become equal; all things become, in themselves, valueless, and art becomes a mere acceptance of, as you say Jonathan, 'anything at all'. This is ahy I think 'One and Other' is a dangerous thing - it reinforces the notion that art is an activity - indeed, any and all activities - that occur within a pre-defined space: art by contextualisation, rather than intrinsic merit; the apportionment of an equivalency of value to all things within this sphere, regardless of their display of skill, or of commitment, or of learning, or ability. I feel that art should act against the boundaries imposed upon it - it shouldn't be defined by those boundaries. The proper relationship is reversed.

Insofar as I feel this is the case, I support the Stuckists. There's an irony in declaiming that art requires an open mind, while at the same time declaring a modern art movement of no value; an irony also, in answering cheap slogans with cheap quotations.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

I forgot to mention the blocks of wood are not fixed together; just placed in position for the photograph to suggest something.

blocks of reassembled painted wood

These are photos of work in progress, with the sun streaming into the studio window. They started as found off cut blocks of wood; cut up again stuck together and painted on using fragments from random drawing. They were reformed by combining different ends, with the size and grain of the wood playing a factor. Bits of hardboard pieces were included. I played with positive and negative shapes from the lines of the drawings, sometimes reversing what was space and the form by applying black and white oil colour. These forms were washed away by pouring turps on them, then repainting, sometimes reversing the black and white again. I then arrived at a point here when I cut them up again, into their current form. Throughout the painting bit I was mindful of associations of the beach huts of calais, with their washes of white and grey catching the light of the seaside together with the rough finish of the constructed wooden hut.
But I don't know what to do with them next.

Peter Cartwright painter

Peter Cartwright.

I really admire this abstract painter from Derby. I first saw his work at Bend in the River stand at the London art fair two years ago. His retrospective has just finished this month in Derby and showed his varied output since he left the Royal College of Art in the early 60s. His paintings from the mid 90s were an interesting comparison to his early stuff, work which could be both painting and sculpture. Some of his work in the 80s was like Patrick Heron in terms of colour form and surface, with wobbly edges. Some were clever wall mounted constructions, with watercolour paper shaped to painted frames. I love his handling of paint, and it was interesting to see how drawing plays a central role in his practice, and how it looks pleasingly odd on the surface, with glimpses of underlayering. Some of his recent work (burntbillbunting) is like a tribute to De kooning, with its battered and built look. Who else shares this artists' concerns?

Friday, 18 September 2009

ideas for paintings when I couldn't paint

sketchbook page from 2004

Thursday, 3 September 2009

09 MA at St martins

Some artists whose cards I picked up whilst nosing round the MA show at St Martins: Alina spatariu, Manali Shroff, Leah Draisey, Gary Colclough, Mao Yang, Ivy Hon Mei Chan, Damien O'Connell, Robert Cary-Williams, Lenko Vohankova, Maya Ramsay...
Shroff's paintings seemed fresh and teaming with ideas. I liked Menelaou's horror show which had a compelling industrial soundtrack with a cute ending. No-one had been up to whizz-bang painterly stuff though. The view is always good from the top... (of the building I mean)

Monday, 31 August 2009

8 drawings of the studio and of other time and places. I thought I'd draw on top of something already drawn, trying to disrespect what went before, varying the choice of mark making instrument on each one for discrimination. So there is a kind of basic layering idea similar in painting. I like the idea of building up a drawing of random viewpoints, on top of one another, a mish mash of looking and response. I set up a still life with bottles etc (a la Morandi) but couldn't bring myself to draw from it.

W I P 2

Want to keep the red black and emerald green areas, they give a more advanced idea of depth rather than just having a background and foreground line - ie the olive green against the more common 'sap' green line). Not sure if this is my aim here, simplicity verses complexity. Do I need to start eliminating some of the sap green lines to simplify the composition too?
The intrigue and lure of making abstract paintings is believing the answer will be clear next time I go to the studio with fresh perspective. Experience says this doesn't always happen !
The lines came from the same place as the other painting posted the other day.

Sunday, 30 August 2009


Painting started in 99, but has been put aside. One of three canvases been jousting with over the last ten years, on and off. Even so quite a history of layers built up, with brushmarks, scrapes and similar gestures combining with the lemon yellow surface drawing. Some time before I had been looking at some Hans Hoffman colours - orange and ultramarine rectangles. The drawing was projected and taken from mark-making as a passenger in a car journey going home from a visit to North Germany. I may go over the drawing again, as it is a bit translucent. The drawing was masked off, revealing clashing under colours. After inactivity, Blocking the yellow in in these lines, brings the work more together. I was thinking the randomness of colour under layers would work with the newly applied yellow oxide ground, but was too haphazard in effect. Nearly finished...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

'Drawings' on the wall using stuff that has been hanging about.