I have been working on …

I have been working on some new smaller paintings 25 x 25 cm, in oil on aluminium and the sequences for each painting are building up. The animation below shows a rebeginning; the painting was dormant, like a spore, and it all began with the first letter of the alphabet. Returning to such a work is something particularly interesting to me as it is a chance to re-assimilate thoughts and evolve ideas that bridge time gaps of years (in this case two). I have many dormant works waiting to be re-animated, alongside the many that have reached their conclusion.



Unintentional Title

Almost Finished and Just Beginning – Looking at my previous post, unintentionally I have made a working title for an as-yet-untitled work, from a factual truth about its co-existence relative to another painting sitting here in the studio. Perhaps it is finished as it is. New lines of thought are opening out, this is what a break facilitates, though leaving the studio with work in progress is difficult.

The photographic sequence of the above-mentioned painting I have yet to process in high res but the following gif, sketches the story crudely. For the eventual animated video I shall use the high res images and alongside processing the sequence in Adobe Lightroom, then Photoshop, create a narrative in words for this painting.

Almost Finished and Just Beginning (oil on aluminium, 125 x 127 cms):



Pictopoiesis and Practopoiesis

I much appreciated Danko Nikolic’s comment on the latest pictopoiesis video and have selected for this post a short animation which I found in my library – it comes across to me as being how the invisible activity of a (living) thought might look like, reminding me again of practopoiesis, and Danko Nikolic’s paper, How Life Fosters a Mind. This all feeds into the project I am wanting to develop, and pilot Summer 2019, which has as its working title, Acts of Poiesis, and involves, amongst other things, setting up a mixed reality installation by means of the Microsoft HoloLens.

Pictopoiesis – Your Own Meaning (Mind Mirror) was included in the recent MA Interim Show at Camberwell UAL. It is shown again below. These simple, short videos attempt a synthesis, narrated through painting, of influences both historical and contemporary, from different fields of thought; including poetry – a collaboration with Nicholas Gulig and reference (traversing) to neuroscience – Danko Nikolic’s theory of practopoiesis:




Instead of focusing on my painting as being something limited and constrained, even though it has arisen out of limitation and constraint, I have focused instead on the potential it represents. This begins with the blank white surface, a situation I have come to see in terms of the painting’s Negative Capability – the notion coined by the poet Keats which also has application beyond the poetry world.

I understand the process of doing the painting as being one of a mutual self-actualisation going on between it and myself, formed as it is out of a dialogue between us.

My task as the creator of the painting is to make it be all that it can be, transferring myself to it in the process. The subject matter of the painting is the thought of the painting itself rather than any other object of my mind.

Having an object in mind alters the parameters of the painting. Without an object in mind, I can more freely cultivate the pictorial field, and the painting is freer to become its real self, come into being more fully, as if “alive”. I think in terms of a balancing act of feedback loops, of setting up a homeostatic dynamic, as a way of articulating the painting in terms of its pictorial elements.

Pictopoiesis is about the impossibility of translating the painting into a language other than its own but as the painter of these paintings, I feel compelled to explicate pictopoiesis if I possibly can because maybe that could eventually lead to new insight into the process of thought itself, which the paintings are a rendition of.

The timeline, so far, of the current painting (oil on aluminium 125 x 127 cm) is shown below, I would say it is about midway towards its completion:

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





Beginning Again

Just back from the London Residency (will document as I go) and beginning the next painting oil on aluminium 50 x 55 cm

I am interested specifically in the interaction between these two GIFS just run up after the first passage of paint was completed and photographed:




and an endless number of possibilities through playing around with the image with all the photo effects that there are, for example: