I am starting this blog section of my web site with the best of intentions. Namely to forge something slightly more personal with those who come here and are interested in my work. I have no particular plan other than to give some kind of insight into my work and creative thinking. However as I am constantly reminded by my wonderful wife I am easily distracted. So my blog entries could either be sporadic in which case I have been distracted by something else, or they could be a distraction in themselves. In which case I will be gently reminded that I should be painting.
Often my distractions are entirely creative. I generally work on generating a good number of ideas in one go, working up roughs from my recent excursions around west Cornwall or from my existing library of images yet to be explored. Of those the ones that excite me the most make it through to the next stage.
However every so often an idea will come to me that just can’t be left and I feel compelled to work on it immediately. This is often at the expense of whatever else I am working on (or planning to) at the time. These pieces seem to shoehorn themselves in to my consciousness and I know if I don’t go with it at least some of the way it will be stillborn. Some are just experiments that aren’t destined to become a finished piece. Others arrive fully formed and just need creation.
One such example is the piece called “Flotsam”. This was inspired by a found object collected from one of our regular beach walks. A small piece of weathered and misshapen plastic that’s original form and function had long since been obliterated by any number of nature’s processes.
I love the way nature reclaims mans creations, degrading and sculpting them with actions like heat and cold, wind and water, animal and vegetable, mineral and chemical. This little piece of plastic had clearly been through all of them and while smoothed and polished in places, the sea life that had previously made it their home had scarred and altered its surface. Piddock holes, calcareous keelworm tubes and the pinky purple encrustations of red algae had created yet more levels of texture and colour. It was a perfect modernist abstract sculpture in miniature and I had the insatiable urge to recreate it on a much larger scale and set it within the frame of art.
The idea of a painting more like relief sculpture with a completely irregular edge also appealed to me. I knew it would be a large and possibly time consuming piece but I felt I just had to do it. The techniques used to create it were very much worked out as I went along but it was an excellent test bed and I now use many of them on my work regularly.
The final piece was perhaps with hindsight a distraction. I displayed it during the 2010 Cornwall open studios and I think it confused some people as much as it excited others. I’m not sure it is truly indicative of the direction of my current work but it was an idea that excited and gripped me and I had to get out of my system.
I have since discovered an interesting little article on the site below. This also touches upon the natural sculpture theme that excited me in that small piece of flotsam.
It’s on the blog by the fascinatingly titled “ZYMOGLYPHIC MUSEUM”.
Although it’s probably a neologism (made up word) I like the word Zymoglyphic, and their definition does fit rather well with the little piece of plastic I found on the beach that day. Even the word has given me ideas…on no…here I go again.
zy’-mo-glyph’-ic, adj. [Gr. zyme leaven + Gr. glyphe carving]
- Of, or pertaining to, images of fermentation, specifically the solid residue of creative fermentation on natural objects.
- The collection and arrangement of objects, primarily either natural or weathered by natural forces, for poetic effect