With practopoiesis in mind and the notion of the painting as a mind mirror…

I took some stills of the studio – the painting in progress on my working table.* Normally in photographing a work, it is desirable to eliminate any reflections but here the reflection presented a mirror-like surface, which seemed to suggest a new extension of its presence – something I shall keep in mind.

*the reason for working on a table is so that the fluidity characteristic of the paint is affected by gravity evenly throughout – the paint extends according to the forces of its inner nature. These are forces which I control and mediate, they are not left to gravity. Here is a balance between the natural law of nature (gravity) and the artificial nature of the painting, which resides principally in the fact that I have made it.

Experience tells me that this painting is reaching a stage where I have to resolve it definitively. I have to decide on its outcome, and this final stage could be resolved in a multitude of ways, just as was the case at the very first stage. As the painting is a physical fixed entity it can have only one outcome – but what will that be when I have in mind many variants, each of which would potentially be equally valid. I have to think beyond the painting too – the next painting will have a different outcome.  I am not limited within a single painting, as much as I am by the number of paintings which I can physically do – practical realities play their part too. I am always limited so it does not matter.

So I face the painting reciprocally, with its limitedness, there is no other way. The painting began with the potential to be anything – now it is the realisation of itself, all that which it might otherwise have been, has been systematically considered, in an acceptance of that which remains. The work finds actualisation like this. We (myself and itself) rebalance each other as we go in an intra/extra dialogue permeating both.

I would like to refer to Danko Nikolic’s table of anapoietic thought* for correlations with pictopoiesis, for example, the word permeable, as it is a quality I try to allude to in the painting. I create depth through a translucent layering of the paint, to suggest that there is permeability between all layers, that just as light permeates the layers, so can anything else, otherwise. There is an exchange going on between all levels in all directions into and across the picture plane. In addition, exploiting the unique elasticity of oil paint, the membranes that encompass the individual paint cells are stretched out to their elastic limits, rendering them so thin as to be permeable – just like the living cell membrane is permeable to the movement of substances into and out of the cell, which the cell membrane also mediates with its selective permeability. Staying alive depends on it. There is a living dynamic embodied in the painting and operating across all its levels of being.


Below is the sequence of the current painting in progress, working backward. There are transformations yet to come, I estimate perhaps 10-15 more stages: