Untitled (P1100579), 2011, Acrylic, tape
& staples on canvas, 11 3/4" x 9 1/2"
What are you working on in your studio right now?
At the moment I’m working on several ongoing series of works. Some on canvas, these are small acrylic paintings. A series of works on gaffa-tape over stretchers, incorporating coloured tape and paint. I also have a series of works on found boards and which I think of as sketches or drawings, again employing acrylic paint. Each of these three series is distinct and autonomous but inevitably informs the others.
Can you describe your working routine?
I'm lucky enough to get into the studio every day to at least look at the paintings I’ve been working on. But first it's emailing or blogging, then breakfast and walking my dog. My workspace is the attic room and I get in for around 10'ish. I always have a number of pieces of canvas, paper and boards on the floor, in various states of beginning, collecting happy accidents, incidental marks and the occasional footprint. Other works are leaning around the edges of the space and one or two are on the walls - these tend to be the ones I’m thinking about and feeling are near some state of becoming or just bloody awful. I don't have a particular routine in the studio one of the ongoing pieces on the floor suggests a move and it all just begins. In productive periods I can spend most of the day in the space until about 4'ish.when I have to go to work (I have a part-time admin job). I'm back home for around 8.30 and either return upstairs to continue working or alternatively I like to make mix-media sketches on small bits of paper from cheap drawing pads.
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
At the present time the attic space is my studio. It's rather cluttered with lots of old computer monitors, camping equipment and suitcases for some reason. The space is a little chaotic but to be honest it works for me. Perhaps because of the cramped quarters I work on a small scale, but that feels perfectly natural and it enables me to work on lots of paintings at any one time. Also because wall-space is limited I work pretty much exclusively on the floor.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I have stacks of (shop purchased) ready stretched canvases and in perhaps a critical act against my own intimidation (or reverence) for the “canvas” and its surface, I cut the primed cotton away from the stretcher. This has the added advantage of enabling me to work on both sides of the canvas until the moment one side wins out. I work across any number of bits of canvas littering the floor, adding and obscuring stains of colour and variously generated marks. My thinking at that point is, in part, that I’m engaged with drawing attention to the fact of the paint (or tape) on the loose plane of the canvas. Often tape is employed as little objects on the canvas while at the same time they are colour and light illuminating the ground. I’m particularly interested in exploring that moment between when the background and foreground don’t really meld or talk to one another and that split second that a real dialogue begins – however unrefined. Finally the canvas is re-attached to a stretcher in a rather provisional manner.
Untitled (P1110501), 2012,
Acrylic on canvas, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2"
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
I'm not sure I am really trying to resolve anything - just being open to the moment when some form of dialogue begins within each work. But then I guess there's always a small matter of resolving the decision of taking up a medium, and attempting to maintain a level of distance and ambivalence towards it’s grand narratives.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I think like most artists I like to push at any parameters from time to time, to explore some new territory and surprise myself. However at the moment a list of materials would include all the usual suspects: acrylic paint, canvas/fabric, stretchers, found boards, paper, pencils, marker pens, insulation tape, Gaffa tape, staples, wall paper paste and general studio mess/dust. These materials are combined or approached in a number of expanding ways - but all pretty much firmly rooted well within what would be thought of a painting practice.
What does the future hold for this work?
Well, I guess if I am honest I’m not really sure. I have some exhibitions in the pipeline. However, recently I’ve discovered I enjoy living with my work, not necessarily looking at it on a day to day basis, but rather that strange sort of "re-discovering" that takes place with a painting or drawing - when viewed weeks, months and years later. There begins a new and interesting dialogue which arises from the inevitable collision between the present and the past.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank you Valarie for this opportunity. Also recently I’ve begun to notice a very creative community of artists, up here online, with whom it's possible to develop a real and expansive dialogue and one which personally I’m finding invaluable. And so thank you all.
Untitled (P1110492), 2011,
Acrylic and tape on canvas, 10 1/2" x 8 1/2"