Journal

Unexpected grid

A painterly work in progress with a grid structure. Gary Peters.

The grid like form was quite unexpected. It started as a group of vertical stripes, and not working, they quickly turned into a grid. I can easily imagine using this form in other works, though only time will tell.

The cyan blue is just the colour I was aiming for while the orange triangle (which feels more congruent in the photo than it does in the flesh) isn’t quite working for me. It may need to become heavier and dirtier with less contrast, or perhaps be erased all together.

For now it’s time to sit and look at the work a little longer, knowing it still has a way to go, before turning it to the wall for a few days so I can return with fresh eyes.

Ways of working

Work in progress. Gary Peters. Working this week I’ve been reminded of how different the process of making these new paintings is to the way I make my hard edge paintings.

For the later the final form is known even if final colour choices are not. In these new paintings I start with no such knowledge. Forms are found, constructed, and erased during the making of the work. Decisions about composition, balance, and colour are made on the fly. When there is forethought and planning, this is often abandoned as soon as the brush hits the canvas.

It’s a challenging way of working, with plenty of room for doubt, yet experience tells me to hold my nerve, to sit with the unknown, to be ok with feeling uncomfortable, frustrated and uncertain. Trust the process – keep painting, remember to step away when needed and make sure to return the next day – and all will be ok.

Work in progress

Work in progress, August 2018. Gary Peters.

Work in progress, August 2018. Gary Peters.

Work in progress, August 2018. Gary Peters.

I’ve started to add colour to these new works much sooner than I expected. I expect the paintings to change a fair bit over the coming weeks as I find, destroy and rebuild forms to reach the moment when everything locks into place.

A manifesto (of sorts) 0.2

Be open, be honest.

Trust my instincts.

Embrace the random (it’s all meaningless anyway).

To paraphrase, make the work like nobody is watching.

Make the work like I don’t give a fuck (because I really do give a fuck).

My role as an artist is to serve the work.

Drink the best beer I can afford, and don’t be afraid of the cheap stuff. A cheap, cold lager on a hot summer’s day really hits the spot.

Context, context, context.

Engage with the history of art. Or not. But at least make the decision a conscious one.

In fact, make sure all decisions are conscious ones.

Don’t be lazy.

Push the work.

Be wary of formula.

Good work has it’s own internal logic.

Fight the resistance – get off my arse, get in to the studio and get to work.

There are no shortcuts worth taking in painting – I have to put in the hours.

Amplify my idiosyncrasies.

Intent matters.

Be true (whatever that is).

Never paint drunk.

Believe in my work – if I don’t, no-one else will.

- -

Also…

Open your eyes and you will see it
It’s obvious, it’s love.

Do it now by Half Japanese

Work in progress - Guston pink.

Work in progress
acrylic on canvas
508 × 609mm
2018

Details

Detail of painting - loose brushmarks.

Detail of painting - paynes grey brush marks.

Detail of painting - loose marks making a box like form.

I’m working on six surfaces at the moment with the intention of discovering (through making) where this new body of work wants to go. I’m feeling my way, discovering / erasing / rebuilding forms.

For now I’m mostly keeping things to Paynes Grey (mixed with a regular semi-gloss medium) and Titanium white, though yellow has crept in on one of the surfaces. The lack of colour allows me to concentrate on the forms and brush strokes. That said, I’ve been having strong urges to add colour but for now, I’ll keep things simple.