‘I want to be in the work, and I want the viewer to feel this.’ ~ Thornton Willis
‘I see my work like a filmmaker: if I want to do a comedy, I do it one way, a historical piece, another way.’ ~ John Millei
At a certain point, I know that if I paint on it anymore, I’m going to kill it.’ ~ Les Rogers
Start off with MDF board and glue linen to it with rabbit skin glue. Put on 3 layers of homemade gesso (rabbit skin glue and whitening).
I need to get paint out on the palette fast when I get into the studio otherwise I will start sitting around and thinking and not doing.
Always standing while painting, only sit to look at what is done.
First paint layers are diluted with turps, quickly scrapped over the ground with cheap bristle brushes, Prussian Blue, Naples Yellow, then a change of mind Cadmium Red with Naples Yellow, scrub back, all Michael Harding paints which can stand a lot of dilution. Leave aside.
Start to paint in figure, Ultramarine, leave for a week. I remember seeing a Gainsborough in Russborough House in Co Wicklow very close up and examining the way the trees were painted, start painting more into the background Sap Green, Cerulean Blue, Titanium White, Terre Verte (D-R) and Warm Grey (Schevenings), Linseed oil and Turps, but wipe it all away again at the end of the session.
Leave for a few weeks, turned to the wall.
Reading “Europe in Sepia” by Dubravka Ugresic, a Croatian essayist and novelist. She writes about her homeland – post communism , this feeds into my own practice which deals with ideas surrounding post colonialism.
Started, then wiped off, started again.
Put on Joy Division on the CD . A figure is painted in the foreground with too much detail, scrub back with rags. Repaint the figure with wide flat sable brush, Prussian Blue, Cadmium red, Titanium White, Yellow Hue, Vandyke Brown, Scrub it back again.
I visit the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Repaint figure with small round sable hair brush, Paynes Grey, Titanium White, Naples Yellow, Burnt Umber. Need to leave it alone. After a few hours come back and scrape it back again.
Leave for a few weeks again, turned to wall.
Reading “Solar Bones” by Mike McCormack, no full stops, just like this painting.
Other books that I dip into are “Daybook” by Anne Truitt, “The Prado” Catalogue Permanent Collection, Marlene Dumas “Measuring your Own Grave” and extracts from Merleau Ponty “Phenomenology of Perception “.
Return to Studio– Listen to the radio while I paint, anything that will distract my conscious mind, an interview with John McColgan is on. Paint over again with Paynes Grey, Cadmium red, Titanium White until the marks on the surface don’t need anymore work. Go and watch Game of Thrones.
Return to Studio next day, Sit and look at it for a while and decide its finished.
‘Confronted with the blank canvas or board the exciting work is to create a space that others might enter and enjoy.’ ~ Jo Brown
‘Usually there are no sketches to work from and little predetermined choice of color. The result is the physical consequence of a dialog between myself and my materials.’ ~ Babette Herschberger
‘Painting…is a messy, liquid process. One in which the painter faces up to what he or she cannot do.’ ~ Ian McKeever