Pictopoiesis – first video

Making my MPR video was a steep learning curve – which is what I like as I now have a new tool in the form of the video storytelling format. Also, I actually enjoyed doing the narration, which surprised me.

My idea is to build up, improving as I go a series of very short videos introducing the notion of Pictopoiesis. Then to see where this leads me. I am not so much worried about the quality of say, the photos as the photographs can easily be substituted for better if I go into my library but that takes more time as I have to change computers – so I shall tend to cobble it for now. I also have to keep painting that includes making large physically demanding works.

The studio is just getting warm enough to be able to work in there continuously. The light levels fluctuate a lot though – today the light is very poor. I work by daylight whenever possible so the season and weather are a major influencing factor. I actually like grey days in themselves. I am interested in that which is behind the veil of cloud. There is always a beyond to reach towards – it motivates me forward towards the invisible to be rendered visible. The thought of it, as a form of presence. I embrace uncertainty, I live with it. I transfer myself into the painting. Being alive has an inevitability about it but it is not predictable. I can always state my own ground in it. Keep grounded. Axis Mundi. the ground beneath my feet. Thought itself is the most beautiful thing – so make the thought of it. Make it from zero. Zero is a placeholder. The zero black dot. An apostrophe.  Apostrophizing – holding the place of that which is absent, no longer present.  Of that which never actually existed?  Imagine that then. What might it mean?

First video – which was represented in the show on 20th March, Camberwell Common Room Pop Up Show


Note to self – work on this video to co-ordinate the soundtrack better, plus other refinements.


MidPoint Review – reflection

The trajectory for the next large painting is a reconnection with the time just before I began the MA course. The MidPoint Review has reminded me of all that has gone on over the last six months. I also get a feeling of how much more will be added to that before I finish the course.

I reconnect with a particular painting I did last Summer. I shall be photo documenting the new one with the new camera, at all stages.

The impossibility of knowing what the painting will look like is played off with my systematic approach, which pictopoiesis incorporates.  The digital tool is used with clear intention too. These different systems complementing each other, rather than contradicting each other.  One calls for the other in the same way as complimentary colours do. Colour perception has a physical dimension – verifiable, quantifiable as well as a subjective one.

The painting begins

In the first stage of the painting, I begin to set down shapes



Specifically, it is an enclosed space, the boundaries of which are defined by other elements of art.
  Shapes are limited to two dimensions: length and width.

These shapes grow from within. Each one feels its own extension and is aware of the other elements of the pictorial space, in particular, those elements in close proximity. They touch or almost touch each other, or not. The shapes have the sensitivity of sensate living things – one of the ways to keep the painting alive. I breathe life into it. It exists, as it is that is enough. I exist as I am that is enough (Whitman). Metaphor.

At the very beginning, the breath of life is blown into it, transferred from me. Throughout I continue to transfer myself to it – material and immaterial. I help myself to both. A single line, (thinnest of membranes) eventually encloses the shape. The cell. The enclosing circular – my motif, the circular gesture. Circular will also imply the cyclical when depth comes in to play later on as translucent layers accumulate.  The surface is a nutrient field. Cultivation.

Colour implications: strong subjective associations accompany each colour unavoidably.  Each colour a different voice. Polyphony. Alternative histories already countless. Transformation.  Symbiosis too as the whole is something other than the sum of the parts. Pictopoiesis in action.







Exhibitions recap

Recap of exhibitions (3 so far) I have been included in since the beginning of the course, October 2017

  • Pop-up show – 1 day Wednesday 21 March 2018 Camberwell Common Room Gallery (this is a small space in A block)

link to work exhibited: see previous post

  • Two Girls Gallery, Peckham. Ist – 9th December 2017

link to work exhibited: http://www.jwaringrago.blog/animations/timeline-1-the-temporality-and-potential-endlessness-of-the-line/


Note to self: Update cv and begin gallery for info page. Also Spring clean/tidy blog. Getting eyestrain, so need to get off the screen for a day at least.




Pictopoiesis – first, short (under a minute) videos

The Mid Point review preparation introduced me to Adobe Spark, courtesy of Steph Bebbington, whose ready knowledge of such things is astounding. Gratitude to Steph! I found it very new to be working with something so already-smart as this little video generator.

Thing is, all my life I have concentrated on creating paintings from a zero start, and to use such clever tools is quite a contrast. I am beginning to make the first videos unfolding pictopoiesis. Below are two short videos that begin the unfolding of the elements of pictopoiesis. I intend to make many of them refining the visuals as I go. In terms of the quality of the video, these first two have many things that need refining – I am aware of it – but as my already-watery eyes are getting very tired of looking at this screen, and there is the next pop up show coming up and the deadline for submitting files is tomorrow (Monday 9am), I shall submit these two as they are. I also need to get into the studio and begin the next large painting – we had a snow blizzard yesterday and the temperature plummeted. This coming week should see a return to better weather and with it the possibility of spending prolonged spells in the studio. The new camera is ready set up to begin the next sequential photo-documentation.


Painting – a continuum



A priority is to keep up the production of new paintings as a continuum. The internal discipline of my studio practice is very much in contrast to that of my attendance at and participation in the residency. My studio practice requires an intense self-discipline and internal energy to ensure that work is actually and continuously being made, and completed.  I am quite used to this, as I have built my practice up over a long time. Jonathan said in my first tutorial, to make sure I keep making paintings as my absolute priority. Indeed, to do otherwise would be unthinkable, as I would not be being true to myself. 

Pictopoiesis being a point of reference which I am establishing. I remind myself that a key principle of pictopoiesis is that the painting emerges out of a notion concerning the poetic term, Negative Capability – the painting’s greatest potential resides in the blank surface. I have faced the fear of confronting a blank surface so many times that it does not daunt me at all anymore. Instead, I see the surface as the field in which the painting will be cultivated and all matters concerning its making are to be resolved in that field. I make no preliminary studies, never really have done, so the application is as direct as could be.

The painting begins from zero, zero as a concept in itself which has vast  imaginative potential: the history of zero is fascinating: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/history-of-zero/

Zero began as a mathematical punctuation mark: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0

Zero has many shapes, which dovetails nicely with my idea of the black dot of the beginning, at the beginning, taking up the shape of an apostrophe. A link with the literary (see Mid Point Review)

below and in the header image is represented an emerging series of images derived from a single work on paper currently in the making. I continue to document in low res photography and in high res if possible given that the flow of the painting itself is severely affected by having to break off after every passage or layer of paint. At the end of it all, there is the actual painting to show for it – and that is where the fineness really resides. I take the high res. images, whenever I can, to have the documentation for future reference. They are good enough for eventual printing and publishing as prints in themselves.

notes to self: a literary symbol representing that which is absent//That which is absent – the potential of negative capability? It all seems to be circular and cyclical//who invented zero: https://www.livescience.com/27853-who-invented-zero.html//compliing my first mini video explicating pictopoiesis//Pictopoiesis and Negative Capability