The New Year show ended in style with some intrepid travellers making their way to the gallery through a winter wonderland of snow covered hills – never has the mulled wine been so well received!
Ruby`s school finally reopened yesterday, so we have enjoyed an extended seasonal break from routine. Nevertheless as I work from home I have been very busy in my studio taking advantage of the transformation of the landscape. I must be about the only person around here to actually have been more productive when we were snowed in!
I have been dealing with my usual dilemmas of working with visual stimulus and how to reconcile the literal aspect of figuration with the business of painting itself. It is never easy and a lot of paper has been consigned to the studio bin in the process, but that is healthy and I am learning from it. I read that Jaspar Johns said about painting that..
“The final suggestion, the final statement, has to be not a deliberate statement but a helpless statement. It has to be what you can`t avoid saying, not what you set out to say”
..that is helping to sustain me right now.
So, the snow has retreated for now, and we are back in our usual routine. I am pleased to be sticking to working on a large scale and not allowing myself to get fiddley and consumed by detail. Now I need to use my time before the gallery opens for the season to process some of the snow inspirations and to continue my work on the aerial landscapes.
I am looking forward to combatting the isolation of life in Maenclochog with a visit to London at the end of the month to catch up with friends, see some paintings and hear Jan Garbarek at the Barbican.