Procrastinations of a working man

20th February 2017

I have been working as hard as I possibly can and I have felt my work taking on the desire for a genuine change in direction, a fairly subtle change, not a radical change in aesthetic but definitely a solid development.

My skeletal drawing process hasn’t changed really but the colours and the way I apply them has – and is changing. This for me is an incredibly exciting time in my practice because as some of you might know I am colour blind (not totally) and had always pretty much ruled myself out of the use of colour in my work.

A probably around a year ago I begun to use colour thinking I will use very bright colour’s that I understand and almost blast my way through the problem of not seeing subtle colour’s as most others do. This worked up to a point, then slowly I began to feel the restrictions coupled with the natural urge to progress. I tried ignoring this for a while but before long I knew change had to be instigated.

Fast forward to now and that change is in its
supernova – it is almost complete in the fact that my colour methods have changed so much.

During my degree I made sure I knew my basic colour theory as a well drilled soldier does his rifle. This knowledge over time has eroded so
I set about relearning what I had forgotten. Just reading about this stuff again helped immeasurably and I realised quite happily that I only needed the smallest of prompts to remember what I was recapping. (Incidentally I learnt my colour so well whilst studying to try to offset my disadvantages).

What I am trying to do now is use colours in a more sophisticated manner and not just bludgeon them into a drawing. Also due to different pens/ inks I am able to overlay colours now which has opened a very exciting set of possibilities. Dare I say maybe one day some paintings might come from this. I can’t believe just how much the colour aspect has become important now.

Thank you as always for reading.



Firstly I will apologise for the disjointed nature of what you are about to read, I managed to stay in my studio until 11pm tonight so must be quick.

I stole a really cheeky look around the National Gallery after dinner the other day in the big smoke, I had to be quick so I decided dive into see the post impressionists and then into the incredible Australian impressionists exhibition (I was bought membership here for Christmas so this allowed me to duck in - guilt free at the minimal time I had...walking briskly past the canelettos - I had no time for caneletto's today, I had to get to the Australians before anything else.

That morning I had read an article on a Facebook page regarding the optimal viewing times that "experts" consider to be the best in which to understand the painting you are looking at.  I thought I'd put this to the test as I was I was in the perfect place to test such theories.  The time was something like four minutes and seven seconds by the way.

As I headed straight for the post impressionists (as always) but became waylaid by the superb Australian impressionists exhibition, the painting I looked at was Arthur Streeton's "fires up".  A magnificent painting by anyone's standards, I stood gazing, probably for the best part of ten minutes, I looked intently and as I did the painting begun to offer more information about itself, other characters and the story unfolded.  An experience I will never forget.

Of course I had to see my artistic idol Cézanne - rude not to, so whilst testing the above theory (which works incredibly well) I noticed - whilst loosing myself in a landscape by the great man it was painted with masses of energy...a painting that I thought I knew intimately changed before my very eyes.  Fascinating and I recommend you all do the same.

I was standing the middle of one of the huge galleries and I had stopped as I was feeling full from the meal we'd just had and slightly tipsy - I pulled my phone out to look at - i then realised - what the hell are you doing - a phone usually one of the most prized items in the hands of anyone, at least so it seems judging on every train I got onto today and the throngs of people constantly passing - heads down,
slipping quick glances forward to ensure they aren't going to collide with anything or anyone.   I digress, the phone, to me, then became the poor mans choice in terms of visual and cerebral stimulation with such a multitude of sumptuous richness to look at - need I say I see the error of my ways and promptly slipped the phone back into my pocket almost not being able to believe what an ass I had just been.

Okay more from tonight's studio session:

I had an incredibly satisfying session tonight in which I learnt a lot and saw future doors open before in anticipation of the time I need to walk through them, a fabulous feeling.

Tonight's quote - so apt and I can really respond to this:
"More of me comes out when I improvise" - Edward Hopper

Whilst considering what I had drawn tonight it occurred to me that I need to begin looking at the negative space in my work now...the stark white space could be developed and cultivated for better use in future endeavours.  The drawing that I finished tonight, it is little more than a sketch but I loved every second of its creation for the value it has given me.  I learnt a lot about new processes and the behaviour of a new pen and the qualities of the inks.

Thank you for humouring my horrendously rushed entry tonight.

A week in the world of...

A few developments since my last post, mostly on a positive note.

Firstly the drawing I submitted to the ING Discerning Eye was rejected - bummer.  I had to do the walk of shame and collect it on Tuesday.  Whilst being disappointed it revealed questions and tested the faith I have in what I do.  I can confirm my skin is extremely thick and after some very minor doubts my resolve saw off these thoughts.

I know this is a very small bump in the road - and for most a par of course occurrence but it was the first time I'd put myself out there so in my mind it was magnified somewhat, having said that the whole experience has been a great learning exercise and it has shown what I can do if I put my mind to it (in terms of meeting a deadline) and ironically given me bags of confidence, I feel although I have grown in some way as a direct result of the whole submission process.  The moral of the story:

Get your work out there as much as humanly possible.

I have now become the owner of this fine website - thank you for visiting.

I am now the very proud inhabitant of some proper studio space.  BIG WIN.  It is a heated, secure, very well lit space - and I already love it.  I spent a while last night moving in and tonight i have adorned the walls with a multitude of sketches, drawings and ideas that have otherwise been out of sight and therefore out of the minds eye.  

After splashing my drawings all over the walls I decided I needed to "bed" into the space by starting to actually work, I made a pencil drawing over the space of about four hours (no pictures sorry).  I couldn't believe just how much I had missed working in an area in which I could see my other ideas and drawings, it definitely helps in terms of resolving ideas, pushing work to new standards and solidifying patterns of sketches and drawings that haven't made it off of the mark.  I am going to push as hard as I can now and try to accelerate my output. 



Exciting times ahead.