Painting Log : 22.11.2017

David Jones described a severe form of depressive creative block as:

…fear that accompanies any quite moderate and simple sorting or deciding or ordering or checking… the layers of disarray… not attending to things so that one complication piles on another. The muddle behind the muddles. Where to begin. The previous efforts of up-rooting and in spite of the effort – most unwise decisions and loss… Each procrastination making a further attempt more difficult. The sheer weight and complexity of material… muddle… even the simplest issue highly complex… crudeness of expression – a miss is as good as a mile when trying to express something.

p 233 in David Jones by Thomas Dilworth

It’s a description that, 70 years on, I can relate to.

I’m struggling to see ‘straight’ after a period of relatively intensive activity and creative clarity. I find myself in the ‘shallow end’ nibbling away at things, scratching the surface. Working when I can work only on resolving some lesser issues with various lesser paintings unable to dive at the deep end and make new works and major decisions.

An example is the following painting:

I was happier when this was a simpler piece, overall green with a flower drawing, then I became ‘tricksy’ – the dots were the final straw, just not working, so I’ve begun an erasure, a process of ‘whiting out’ and pulling together…
There are those damned dots! Time to be rid.
I’ve masked a number of lines, I want to break down the surface of the painting, find layers, excavate and simplify. I’m using emulsion thinking that the ‘dead’ flat white matt paint might provide a counterpoint to the gloss green?
At a drying stage. There’s a part of me that likes the layering effect provided by the translucent masking tape. It shows something of the painting beneath and mutes the colours. It may remain, or perhaps some it may remain. A ‘happy accident’? Well, perhaps…

Leave a Reply

  • We're just about ready to restart the Long Trip down the Water Road.
  • Recommendations of websites & books always welcome...
  • Current reading: 'Magpie Words' Richard Caddel, 'Woods etc.' Alice Oswald & '100 Prized Poems'
%d bloggers like this: