19 October 2017

Shape of Sky

These photographs were taken from the single rear window of a small flat in central London at 20.10 hours on 24th June. Not only was the colour spectacular as a fiery sunset illuminated the buildings from this high summer unusual angle but the whole sky seemed to radiate with luminosity. These photographs required little processing and are very close to the camera's settings - the environment was totally photogenic!
Why put these rather than any other landscape? Why add them at all in fact! It is the shape of sky that interests here and moreover within the context of studio practice, I have been observing these shapes from this window on and off for the past nineteen years during those important everyday intervals when there is time to simply stand and stare. With the radiance of light, an opportunity to document the physiography of this particular vista.

Canon Powershot SX610HS

29 August 2017

Open Studio with Helfa Gelf

Open studio with Helfa Gelf features new paintings made between February and June this year. Also project drawing books For El Arreciado Sculpture Wool Symposium May 2016 and Color de la Ciutat - Palma, Mallorca with the portfolio of gouaches made on location, 2014.

18 August 2017

Four New Works: RCA 135th Summer Show and Helfa Gelf at MOSTYN 2017

Four new works on consignment, 2 Paintings and 2 Gouaches:

4.2.15 62 x 82 cm gouache

15.5.17 65 x 84 cm gouache

Central Red 37 x 49 cm oil on canvas

Sierra Nevada 33 x 48 cm oil on canvas

22 June 2017

12 Paintings: New Series: First Completed

The first completed painting of the new rectangular series of oil on canvas paintings has just been finished. The series, being made since February, marks a return to a rectangular format and support. The main reason for the use of a rectangular support was to challenge the shape format itself and test to see if the issues of pictorial image making that I have become familiar (forms constructing the perimeters) would be restrictive in the conventional rectangular picture frame format. Whilst the format has been challenging, shapes have engaged with the perimeter edges to define an integral but perhaps more unified painting. Further reflection on these no doubt to follow but results look promising and certainly different.

20 March 2017

A Note on R E - T O U R / R E - T R A C E

The film has been made as part of my contribution to the Re-take/Re-invent project. For this, I was looking at the work of Thomas Jones (1742 - 1803) and in particular, the series of small paintings he made whilst living in Naples. In December 2015, during the project time, I was able to visit Naples with International Contemporary Art Wales as part of a group exhibition in CAM Casoria Contemporary Art Museum. Whilst there, I visited the city centre, actually for one morning just before leaving, to research for the project and was able to walk across the city and visit the area around the Castel Nuovo, that features in the particular painting by Jones that I was working from. In Naples, I was struck by how familiar the city was through the eyes of Jones because of the light on walls and the washing that was hanging in the December sun to catch the warmth and how this is very much still the current character of the city as it was in Jones’ time. I live partly in London, where my family are based and was very interested to read that Lawrence Gowing (1) had a studio with others in Maple Street whilst teaching at the Slade and he thought it was the house that Jones used to live in with his family, when he lived in London. The street then, in Jones’ time, was called London Street, being renamed later in line with the furniture business on Tottenham Court Road. Part of it, directly next to the base of the BT tower does have a terrace that dates from Jones’ time. In reflecting on Jones over many years particularly since the 2002 National Gallery exhibition of his work (really a walk from Maple Street) right through to this project, my investigation required creative output and film seemed a possibility. Chance, time and place all play a part here under the construct of a project of reinterpretation. Connections and differences between two cities drawn together perhaps by noticing the transitory and temporary features of metropolitan life.  

(1.) Gowing, Lawrence. The Originality of Thomas Jones. 1985 Thames and Hudson

R E - T O U R / R E - T R A C E

12 March 2017

New Series: Return to Rectangle

New series of paintings under way in the studio. These are 18 small to mid-sized canvases and mark a return to the rectangular form. Utilising old stretchers (mainly) and canvas off cuts from previous large canvases, these new works are a return to the confrontation of the conventional edge of support and how this will or will not contribute, influence, dictate the content of the paintings. I am using photographs of architectural spaces to start these works and the palette is exploring a more tertiary hue range at this early stage of production.

Deep yellow almost a dark yellow