For me as a long time practitioner of painting, it has been a point of fascination how much has emerged (and increasingly so) from the work which has application outside and beyond painting. For example, the Slow Circle drawing exercise could be translated into performance in numerous ways.
In painting the elements are quite limited but this fascinates me; the spectrum for invention, materially and immaterially that lies within an apparently limited amorphous material, oil paint with its potential to be shaped in endless ways into the highly organised structure of the eventual painting.
Though my painting evidences skill in the medium of oil, the organising principles which I have used are not limited to just oil painting. Pictopoiesis is extendable beyond oil painting, being in effect a transferable operating system
continuing from my previous post:
With reference to the image shown above of the painting as it is now, the latest passage of paint has taken several days to work. Fossil-like, materially embedded in the geology of the painting it is also like a new growth form. The continuously evolving past is modeled palimpsest-like in terms of a fresh horizon. The sense of source and origin is always maintained in the painting’s layered history.
Very finely worked, every single line has a precise point of beginning and ending. The lines are countless (at least 10,000!). This phase also begins the act of closure between myself and the work, which is intensely felt after working on it singularly over several months.
This phase takes many hours over several days. It ends only when the paint stiffens until I can work it no more. That is how I decide on the extent of its refinement, by the limitation of the medium – the medium directs me in this respect. It is like performing a mantra over and over again. At the same time, at close observation the crude materiality of the paint prior to its shaping is evident. The work depends on the physicality of the material. Material first and always is the case.
This phase, skeleton-like and weblike at the same time, is also a coming to terms with all that the painting is not, as much as that which it actually is. No two lines can be exactly the same though their mode of formation is identical. To me there is something marvelous in this simple truth, the reason I take so much effort in embodying it in my work. Each line (each one of us) is an individual but one which also participates in the greater continuously evolving whole.
Notes to self:
Right up close where the crude the materiality of the paint in its preshaped otherwise amorphous shape. This is at a very closeup viewing distance as opposed to near-to, the distant and middle distance. The technique is such that each distance rewards the viewer freshly, such that its material nature is a revelation. Evidence of this in notable works includes the below:
Hilliard’s portrait miniatures materials and techniques.
also see Velazquez close up of material handling (haven’t yet found any close-ups on the internet)