This latest shape comes into being

I have just created a new level of the painting. It has taken 3 days to create and I would like to review it with practopoiesis in mind.

All based on lines*, the refinement of this new passage of paint ended only when after three days the paint had stiffened (through its oxidation) to make further work on it impossible. This is a particularly demanding phase of the painting in which there is a lot of repetition. It is meditative, exhausting and uncomfortable to do because I have to lean over the whole painting at often a very awkward angle. I get eyestrain and backache leaning over for hours on end and I can always see more refinement possible. I have to accept it as it is with all its imperfections. It is the emergent whole,  that I am after. There are no shortcuts the imperfections are exactly what characterise the form. It is a really important component of the painting.

*The etymology of the word line comes from linen, the oil I use is linseed oil. I think it is always so marvelous how everything interconnects – I have talked about lines and the circular in earlier posts.

For some reason (perhaps falsely, I am not sure) monitor-and-act units come to my mind in relation to the lines, the smaller units (lines) forming a larger one (the horizon). The lines have been made as follows:

Each individual line has a definite beginning and end. Each line is drawn individually free hand into the paint, to make it as like as I can make it to each and every other line. As I am very imperfect this is also done in the knowledge that no two lines are exactly the same neither can they ever be. Each line matters as an individual and is unrepeatable – an individual “life”. Each line has a place in the greater emerging whole. The individuality of each line is obscured as the greater whole emerges but each individual line can also be detected in the history (and memory) of the greater whole. Together the lines are countless.

Technical: As the line is inscribed a tiny quantity of paint is pushed along and where the line comes to rest there is a resultant tiny accumulation of paint. The emergent form depends entirely on the paint’s fluidity. The tiny deposits of paint accumulate and eventually a new ‘line’ is formed, but it is not a line really, it is instead a zone in between where one set of lines terminates and the next contour of lines begins. It is a horizon – an apparent line – and a thought horizon which is an emergent property of all that has gone into its making.

The first fine lines, countless in number are the basic units of construction of the form which collectively they give rise to. The architecture is not imposed from outside, rather, that which emerges is like an organic form of growth, directed from within.  An adaptive system dependent on the fluidity of the material (oil) out of which it is made. The idea and technique are inseparable. In this lies the nature of the painting’s intelligence.

Though this new form shape sits on the surface almost palimpsest-like, it does, in fact, connect with an earlier form – the earlier encircling ring form, which was worked in the same way, as the above, with lines but not taken to such a degree of fineness – it is a much simpler structure – primordial in a way, if compared to the latest shape but the later shape is very clearly descended from the earlier form, none the less. I embed within the painting its primordial history – as it is part of its consciousness of itself, as embedded in we humans is the memory of our own primordial state. There is an unbroken chain of consciousness connecting us to those first life forms – and even before that. We contain everything that ever happened to us and to those which came before us. The thought of what we are as part of Nature, and by nature, is so immense in itself.



monitor – and -act unit: