Still, I do prefer working on location and getting these studies moving away from photos to ideas about painting is proving challenging. It’s not as exciting as being there and taking my preferred perceptual approach. I must also admit however, that after years of not using photos I do have a clearer idea of what I do and don’t want from them. Here are a couple of the ones I’ve made so far.
This one of the train line, above, reminds me of Edward Hopper’s images a little.
(Never have I been more disappointed with an exhibition than at Edward Hopper’s retrospective at Tate Modern a few years ago. The technique seemed fairly unexciting and the work functioned more successfully as images than paintings. Even these seemed tired after a bit though, and I really disliked the later stuff like the image below which seemed so mannered in it’s ideas about emptiness. It was Luc Tuymans, who had a brilliant retrospective in the adjoining gallery who made me look at them from a different and more interesting perspective, when he referred to Hopper’s figures as being like ‘puppets in toy houses’. This seemed a more interesting proposition).
This other studies above are views through the trees of the motorway above me, with the motorway lights shining like two suns.
I’ve been making these to some lovely music in the studio, including the new Felice Brothers album, ‘Celebration, Florida’, and Bon Iver’s self titled new album, which is my favourite thing so far this year. I’ve also been loving Doug Paisley’s ‘Constant Companion’ over the last few months. It’s the sort of album you feel like you have listened to all your life. It’s like putting on a pair of the most comfortable slippers at the end of a hard day.