Of light and space I have as many questions as answers , light is said to define space and yet the work I so often admire ( such as this 2nd-3rd century sarcophogas relief panel ) defies the contemporary conception of “good ” composition.Yesterday I was reading a slim volume of Blake, specifically the Book of Job. I picked up this treasure for one dollar at PAFA’s library sale as they transition to another floor- it’s a sad loss for the new space not to have this book, but my gain .
But looking at his Inventions as he preferred to call them ( I’m going to adopt that phrase as I have been told frequently by this school that I am an illustrator and not an artist ; inventor seems a sly reply ) one cannot easily sense a definite light or an obvious sense of space . In fact quite the opposite , they are cramped with esoteric curiosities and the most peculiar of light yet still the viewer is aware of being in the presence of a great and universal truth.
One of the criticism of my work, one that stung a bit because I am aware of my struggle with it, was one of light and space . And although I feel I have addressed that issue in other paintings my work here has had less of an emphasis upon those qualities.
I’m aware of this as I start yet again another painting . My last , quite wonderful critique with Patricia Traub concluded with the suggestion that I put aside the paintings I have been struggling with and start something afresh, freer and more joyful. Given that my spirit has been flagging and this program has come to feel an ordeal, I found that sound advice .
I approached the canvas with a light hearted spirit with my friend the Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins in mind . Clive no matter the subject always seems to approach his work with a smile . I wanted to channel that sense for no other reason than my own deflated personal ones.
The new painting , perhaps defiantly, once again seems to defy conventional /sanctioned/approved space , not unlike in my mind, the Roman example above ( or Master Blake). It is very much in the hatched stage and how light defines the space , if at all, is to be seen. But for now I’m seeing it through .
The program ends soon and I am overall pleased with the experiment , I feel better able to define my intentions and surprisingly , defend them. I hadn’t thought the need for defense existed but I see that isn’t the case. I had hoped to bring my interests to the table and had hope to seek direction as to better express them. That hasn’t happened here with this critique program but I have been able to tap into a truer sense of myself.
Gratitude in the long run.
I’ll conclude with my as of yet , sketchy painting.