Thursday, 25 December 2008

cork oak drawing 1

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New Studio

Following a meeting that I had yesterday it now looks pretty certain now that I will be moving my studio and storage site away from the open terrace near the sea and up to a large warehouse near the Seirra Utera which is a bike ride away.

The warehouse's main purpose is to store furniture for people between homes, it also has a sales point. I've sorted out a cheap rate for a space against a wall and the WC shower room of about 3 metres x 2 metres and a storage unit that's about 2 x 2 x 1.5 metres. The space will be open at one side so I can view work from a gallery distance of about ten to twenty metres.

The space will allow me to work on finishing off some larger canvases and drawings as well as start to mount, stretch and store finished works. I can also start to be a bit more gestural and splash move pigments around. Also I can start to work on some of the larger commissions without resorting to diptychs etc.

I shall continue doing some work on the terrace but as you may know as boxes and frames etc start to mount up there becomes less space in the apartment to live. Everyone will be a little happier and I will find less and less task avoidance areas.

In any case my ork is about transition and I shall be working in an environment where peoples belongings are continously being stored securely, brought out and shipped around the world.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Autumn Cork Oak and Casares Bahia Painting

watercolour mixed media on paper 

Casares Painting, Autumn Cork Oak and Bahai stage 1

Antonio Machado
XI: Yo voy soƱando caminas

I go dreaming down roadways
of evening. Emerald pine-trees
golden hillsides
dusty oak-leaves!…
Where does this road go?
I go travelling, singing,
into the road’s far distance…
– evening falls slow –
‘I bore in my heart
the thorn of passion:
Drew it out one day
And my heart is numb.’

A painting gets done in a number of stages and one of the more exciting apects of this is that you never know what the next part or stage will bring. I've spent a good few weeks now, weather permitting walking through, sitting in, and drawing the forests. As I have done this gradually Automn has turned to winter. Unusally for me but not for the trees that I have been with of late, their leaves stayed on the branches and twigs. Though other trees around the cork oak and I changed their attire to Automn and either lost their leaves or changed them to vibrant yellows and browns for our enjoyment, we carried on with our conversation.
Initially, as I began to work I stuck to large naturally formed pieces of chunky charcoal on large sheets of paper. Fighting with the wind to keep them clipped onto my drawing board.At the end of one long day I actually stopped the traffic on the main road as five of my best drawings on A2 sheets were picked up and sent whirling across the tarmac and stone service. I scampered after them trying desparatly not to crease or smudge the charcoal further. Using charcoal and natural materials felt the right thing to do, especially for this tree, the father of the forest and the provider of so much to so many.
You get to respect these Cork Oak guys as they wind their never ending branches wherever, irrespective of slopes or whatever else. On another day the grunting of three wild boar, two adults and a child came closer and closer and I held my breath until they had eaten enough acorns and passed upwind of where I sat. This chance meet was to be followed by a roe deer grazing with precision.
These sightings as always mark the close of the day and in the fading gloom of the forest the brightness of the sea down below acts a point of navigation.