Oil on Ply board 37 x27,5cm 2012
What are you working on in your studio right now?
At the moment I am working on stretching up some calico and experimenting with different surfaces. I’ve gone from using my usual primer on board which gives an ultra-smooth and relatively shiny surface to paint on, to homemade gesso, and I’m enjoying the transition from super-smooth “ice-skating” style to one that has more absorbency. I’m also working on the logistics of the upcoming Artist of the Day show at Flowers gallery in June so one wall is currently dedicated to works in progress and the other is visual experiments and the how-tos and maybe’s of putting things together.
Can you describe your working routine?
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
My studio is nestled between London Bridge and Bermondsey and is semi open plan. There is a really nice sense of community, I think as a result to the space being open and being in close proximity to one’s neighbours. My studio is long and thin which is good for wall space. I am moving out soon though as I feel I’ve reached a point where I need to have a door for a while so it’s exciting times ahead. I am traveling this summer so it will be interesting for me to see how I will negotiate having a more “mobile” studio.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
Drawing is a really important part of my process and I generally have quite a few primed pieces of paper stuck on the wall where I can either test out new colours or colour-combinations or possibilities for or within paintings, as well as keeping sketchbooks. I tend to make most of my supports and having a large supply of these is important for me to not get too precious. I am quite picky about these as well so I do spend time on making and priming my boards. Once these are made a sort of visual conversation starts between the drawings and the paintings. Some paintings are more immediate, some not and some get annotated on in my sketchbook.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
At the moment I am heading into territories that feel less familiar in terms of changing the surface upon which I work and changing my primer so I am more in an experimental phase. The things that I am scratching my head over are more concerned with how things are shown generally and ways of showing drawings in particular and a work’s relationship to place or space, in the studio and outside of it. Otherwise generally speaking maybe layering, that is the big question that hovers, it’s that argument between something that is to the point first time round and that which is layers of paint, mistakes and perceived errors, a bit like an unruly cake.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I tend to focus on different things at particular times. At the moment I feel that there is a shift from a strong focus on colour and form to one that looks at surface more particularly. I saw a film a few months ago called “Blind Beast”. It’s about a blind sculptor who kidnaps a model because he thinks she has the perfect body and he wants to make the ultimate sculpture, a sort of ode to touch. It’s a strange film but it underlined for me the importance of touch particularly at a time when buttons are disappearing and how this is connected to how we learn and remember things.
Oil on Ply Board 18,5 x 23cm 2013
What does the future hold for this work?
The “Artist of the Day” show at Flowers Gallery in Cork St is on the 24th June. I’m looking forward to working with the space and seeing my work in a different setting. I always think it tends to set it free a bit. After that I am traveling so I have to consider ways in which to have work that travels well.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Firstly a big thank you for inviting me on Studio Critical. Secondly just to express how much I appreciate the joys of painting blogs and the online arts community. It’s a great place to share work and ideas and it’s nice to have painting chats with people who live in different parts of the world.
Oil on board 30 x 20cm 2012