08 December 2014

Paintings in the Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts Łódź Poland

Four paintings from the Seventeen series from 2013 - 14 are on show in the Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts Łódź Poland in a group show In and Out of Citadel  organised by the Academy and ICAW. Film work Synchronicity II 3 by 5 with composer Dimitri Rastoropov is also on exhibition. The paintings are well spaced on the gallery walls in the main area of the two tier gallery space at the Academy. Slightly longer spaces in between each from left to right.

Opening Reception Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts Łódź Poland

26 October 2014

Seven Traces Visual Art Festival comes to Caernarfon

The nomadic visual art fair is taking place in Caernarfon at the moment. My work synchronicity banner can be seen at the the Institwt, Penrallt. The work builds on previous projects that have used external banner format and the methodology of combining bars of colour to create a chromatic identity.

For full conceptual details on the festival, artists and workshop information click here to transfer to the website

18 October 2014

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – final post

The final painting went on show in the empty and atmospheric setting of the Tudno Castle Hotel, Llandudno united with the pewter plate along with 9 other artworks and objects.
Culture Colony with curator Marc Rees made a film of all the artists and this can be viewed here:
Culture Colony Llawn02 Nine Artists and their Objects

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post eight

 The E shape from Cranbourne is a light green; I like the challenge of having the lighter colours making the exterior shape and having to work with the heavier middle colours – it forces a different kind of space. I am building up the ‘pavement’ areas remembering the idea of the sloping camber on the grey slate slabs around the square. I want to get that idea of shifting uneven space; the dark red arm in the centre reaches in to accentuate this. Now the yellow, fluorescent yellow, is applied below the shadow of the plate. This creates a strong tonal contrast here – the shadow a deep blue-red almost black-like, and this strong contrast emphasis the main form. I am thinking again about the centre of the plate – there is so much opportunity for more compositional elements here; it is good to be thinking of painters like Juan Gris and how they described form in such an original way. Some elements will be left out, I don't want to have all the answers in the painting; what is not there is part of the end experience. There is much sharpening of the colour areas to do. Where one area meets another is crucially important to the authenticity of the painting. The next post will be the final stage. Before this the painting will go to Llawn 02 to find the pewter plate.

17 October 2014

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post seven

The plate form has developed with a range of greys and dry brush pulled around the imaginary rim of the plate. I have central section of the plate, the inner ellipse-plane as an area for compositional elements rather than a flat surface. The red zig-zig is able to run through it with an illusion of interlocking transparency. This seemed in painting to create another form to the left and an excuse for a further green mark replicating the swerve of the ellipse. I am also building up the colour areas, reinforcing transparent and semi transparent colours like red.

16 October 2014

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post six

In working with the plate form it has to fit with the support shape on the right and not extend over the edge of the left side; this would compromise the integrity of the idea.

When painting this I am thinking about Patrick Caulfield. It is great to be revisiting an object form that is really quite descriptive. One of the things I like about Caulfield is the austerity of form. On the one hand familiar everyday 70’s and 80’s interiors and still life but they have a real distance about them. I am not sure how this is achieved but the strong flat areas of colour in both the form, shadow and surround will be part of the answer.

04 October 2014

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post five

In working with the painting I have decided to keep the pewter plate as one form with its complete ellipse. This makes the form more complete somehow and breaking it would seem contrived and really be a fudge – avoiding the complexity of creating a convincing plate form in paint. Of course, the integration of the form with the overall composition is another question. This will be achieved through colour areas emphasising the imagined shadows or tonal effect and by having a transparent dimension to the form to allow interlocking and compositional elements to flow across the painting. The strong diagonal form from top left to centre right will run through the bottom of the plate form – at least to start with.

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post four

The support for my painting is medium density fibreboard. I am making a shaped support cut (drawn) with the jigsaw to include imagined elements of the planned painting. The main feature of this work is, of course, the pewter plate and I want this to define its own edge on one side of the painting. To this end, two thirds of the way down the right side, the ellipse-plate-form will define the side. I had to cut with a jigsaw the curved edge of the plate with quite a sharp bend as is seen on a 30 degree angle. The plate is also not to be on a horizontal plane to increase the dynamic.

After acrylic priming the painting is now started. I am not sure whether to include a complete pewter plate on an angle or have it fragmented and in two interlocking halves; this may give it a greater dynamic. The colours are used from the digital research previously described and using a limited range of system 3 acrylic paints.

12 September 2014

Synchronicity II - 3 by 5 at ICAW 2014

Synchronicity II - 3 by 5
15.02 minutes
Andrew Smith with Dimitri Rastoropov

This is the collaborative film work with composer Dimitri Rastoropov and has been presented for
ICAW 2014 documented art space at Theatr Harlech. Connect to documented art space here and scroll to artists.

I am very interested in the way the two art forms seem to have become mutually beneficial. Certainly with the film work bulding on Synchronicity (8 minutes as in the post below), the extended time frames adds a new dimension to the experience of the colour areas. It is designed as an installation piece and is projected but it is also and in some respects, more effective on the screen. This is because the visual textures are evident and seem unfixed as if on each view the interval would be different. This quality is to do with film additive colour but is also digital. The film work was presented on 6th Septmber at the opening evening and will again be shown in the next presentation on 13th September.

25 August 2014

Synchronicity I 2014 S

Still from Synchronicity I 2014 S. Video, 8 minutes.

This film work explores additive colour. As a painter I use subtractive colour, that is colour that exists in a tangible form (pigment) and relates to our experience of the natural world in that colour defines a surface. There are only two additive colours in the natural world; the sky and the colour we see when our eyes are closed. All other colours are essentially subtractive and exist to define a surface. In the non natural world additive colour exists in projected light and screen.

In this work, I chose the black frame to focus on the image that is actually a non-image and creates an effect of simultaneous contrast – the colours that the eye is constantly searching for or creating in opposition to the actual colour. The simultaneous contrast is further explored by the bar and the horizons within the non image. The fusion points of one colour against another are, of course, pictorial and relate to my painting, but here the time based form creates multiple contrasts that further explore a changing interaction.

I am interested that we look at an image that is not an image and perhaps this is where the collaboration with sound is really possible. The chromatic event is autonomous and certainly to do with reality in so much that it takes place in time and space. In using this tool for making a film work I have begun to explore the uncertain elements of mixing additive colour; it is not to do with aesthetics or expression, but instead focuses on the unstable range of colour perception in the additive environment.

Stokes, Adrian: The Image in Form.  Penguin 1972

Cruz Diez, Carlos: Reflection on Color. Fundación Juan March, 2009

Albers, Josef: Interaction of Colour. Yale 2006

Synchronicity I 2014 S. Video, 8 minutes:

24 August 2014

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post three

I plan to make an acrylic painting about my object and reference the place it was made as well as imagining the ellipse (shape) and colour; the imagined colour of pewter. I will also use colours observed from around Cranbourn Street – the red tiles of the Station; shop fronts etc. Also, the slope of the street, grey tiles, pedestrianised but on an interesting camber, mirroring the climb north on Charing Cross Road. Cranbourn is a wide street sloping elegantly into the green square. When walking back from Cranbourn street I called into Making Colour at the National Gallery. There a still life by Jan Jansz Treck, Still Life with a Pewter Flagon and Two Ming Bowls gave me the colour indication I was looking for when thinking about the colour of pewter: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-jansz.-treck-still-life-with-a-pewter-flagon-and-two-ming-bowls.
Quite a blue-grey, perhaps with lead content. The kind of gun metal blue mixed with Cobalt and Burnt Sienna. But, perhaps the Bray plate is more silvery, typical of tableware. Incidentally, the painting is included into the exhibition as the colour of blue in the Ming bowls had faded to a green, the artist using a fugitive blue.

22 August 2014

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post two

Pewter plate made by Charles Bray, Pewterer, Cranbourne St, Leicester square, London. Prob 19thc, 220 mm in diameter
Charles Bray, Pewterer, is well known. His registered address was 14 Cranbourne Street. Whilst in London, I went down to that part of Leicester Square to see if No.14 is still there. Cranbourn St straddles Charing Cross Road, contains many theatre ticket shops and fast food outlets. Looking at Tallis’s map (1838 – 43), No 14 is now under the Hippodrome building (built 1900) on the North East side.
There are however plenty of older buildings opposite and Cranbourn Alley running through to Bear Street. Today, Leicester Square is a busy centre and would have been in Bray’s time (for example, Bear Alley, the centre of the hat trade in the mid 1800s). The Pewter plate is not large and perhaps would have been part of a set, for everyday use. I wonder if it is well worn. I notice the ‘e’ has dropped from Cranbourn Street (3) in the description given. I wonder when this happened – or was the ‘e’ a mistake? On Tallis’s map Cranbourn is without the ‘e’. (4) Interestingly a newsagent has Cranbourne with an ‘e’ (5). Perhaps I will put the E back in the painting.

17 August 2014

LLAWN02 – The Presence Of Absence – post one

Pewter plate made by Charles Bray, Pewterer, Cranbourne St, Leicester square, London. Prob 19thc, 220 mm in diameter. I do not know the object and have not seen it. I have to imagine it and create an image about it. Imagination is fundamental to creativity so this task is, in one important aspect, essential to the making of a painting. The actual and its illusion are not always directly linked; the reality here in pictorial terms must develop only from the imagination.

23 May 2014

17 Paintings 2014 - New Series Complete

Images of the new series of 17 Paintings 2014 is completed. These have been in progress for the past eighteen months and represent a closer focus on the content and spatial structure of the pictorial surface. The length of time to make the paintings is significant in this respect; there has been an extended refelction of the progress of each painting. The series can be viewed here

18 May 2014

Color de la Ciutat - Palma, Mallorca

During an Erasmus exchange between Bangor University, Lifelong Learning and Universitat de les Illes Balears, a new series of small gouaches were created and exhibited in the Department of Applied Pedagogy and Educational Psychology, following a week of intensive activity including delivering a seminar on Creative Ideas and Education - the role of art and 'the arts'; a visit and tour of the education department with Lo Katie Mortorell at the Fundació pilar Joan Miró and numerous exhibitions including Josef Albers: Process and Printmaking at Museu Fundación Juan March. Plans organised by Professor Rubén Comas Forgas, Universitat de les Illes Balears.

08 May 2014

Elected Member of The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art

Following admission for election I am pleased to have been elected as a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art, the only new member for 2014. Blue Arc was one of the portfolio paintings submitted. Constituted in 1881, the Royal Cambrian Academy situated in Conwy is a centre for artistic excellence in Wales. It has over 100 artist members and aims to exhibit work by members of the Academy, to promote up and coming artists of quality, to mount historical exhibitions and offer a lively venue for education.

15 April 2014


Painting No 12 2014 is shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show

05 April 2014

New Stretchers - Stage Two Shape Build

The second stage requires thinking about the image and the dimension of the surface. The key perimeters are pushed a little to increase the dynamic feel of the shape. Main frame A top right had to be altered radically - the main frame should have extended to the left perimeter; changes made during the process. Drawing with shape.

23 March 2014

New Stretchers - Stage One Main Frame

Following the completion of the seventeen paintings, three new stretchers are under construction using spliced timber that has been in storage for over a year. The new shapes are to the maximum size using virtually all the available stretcher bars. The suarface area of the new work will be larger than the three paintings in the Bangor exhibition.

New Gouache 17.3.14 + 51 x 72 cm (paper)

New Gouache 17.3.14 + 51 x 72 cm (paper) using fluorescent pigment with white. An opaque and vibrandt yellow and light red with a resilience and command of surface not usual in the semi transparent fully saturated fluorescents.

18 January 2014

Recent Large Gouaches on Show

Two of the most recent large gouaches have been Highly Commended in the Royal Cambrian Academy Open Show 2014.