She’d Work – Lock Down
15 paintings later
Lock down means staying at home though a key member of my family is terminally ill and it is also vital that we are able to support her and help out with medication and care. My partner is also self employed and we are both unable to work. Lock down is a difficult period for everyone because of lots of different reasons but also gives us chance to connect with our humanity again.
I have always used art as a form of serenity and at the moment it is even more important to sustain this outlet. I find solace and time out in my small garden workshop with painting. Painting has always been a source of taking time out of reality for me and I find the My work is mostly an intuitive led process which is why I find it therapeutic. My mind is unable to think on a particular focus during this time.
Deciding to work on a geometric series is unlike my usual approach to painting. The source came from sitting one evening and folding a piece of A4 paper into geometric shapes and cutting angles so that areas stand up and create 3D areas which in turn create shadows. This process is just exploratory and I then take photos of the sheet and play around with it on a photo app on my phone. Altering photography is a common pastime of mine as I enjoy exploring the different outcomes of my photos. I often intentionally take photos with this in mind. This geometric folded and cut piece of paper creates an interesting image especially when mirrored. I have an artist studio space for painting. I normally use my art shed for exploring other creative ideas related to wood, glass and other materials.
I reach for a canvas and start to mask off geometric shapes. I decided to limit my palette and try to avoid blue spectrum for the first one because I realised recently that blue tones were prominent in a lot of my work.
The space I work in is more confined and this sort of suits the very measured approach I have decided to take working with geometric shapes. I usually work much more intuitively and approach my work, sometimes with a notion or idea of something and then let it evolve depending upon the result of the previous action. During the start of the geometric series I create very measured geometric paintings.
I realise on reflection that I am not really happy with the controlled uniformity and by the time I paint a third painting I am overlaying the measured geometric shapes with more random triangles of contrasting colours. I much prefer this approach. It is breaking the tight order created originally.
The predominantly yellow painting comes from a different place. It somehow comes from a more emotional place. More of a gut response to what is going on at the time.
In terms of themes I do have an overriding interest in scaffolding and cranes, reclamation yards, patterns made by shadows from things like fencing etc. I spend a lot of time taking photos of themes like this and often play around with them with altering colours and mirroring images. These experiences also mean that I often know the sort of image I particularly want to photograph in order to find interesting results. Photography and collage of patterns and images also become included into my paintings sometimes, especially if a piece of work is thematic.
I love creating work which feels more intuitive which can be partly playful in my response to materials and becomes more intentional as the work evolves. The process is often quite freestyle but I also have a sense when the process reaches the end. I am quite particular about not wasting paint so when I have some leftover I use it on a new sheet or canvas ready to start a new piece of work next time I come in. This process can mean that my colour palette has a continuity running through my paintings but doesn’t necessarily instigate the same responses in mark making or my intentions for the following piece.
Our family member dies in April during lock down. It is a difficult period for us all and family is still a key part of our priorities. I make it to my studio one day when the restrictions are eased. There are only two of us in a large space so this feels ok. Sadness does mean it is more difficult to focus even for a short while. It is an important part of life, these feelings, so I accept them and go with it. I realise how important colour was to my lost family member and how I carry this love of colour through my work. It has been an especially important aspect of the work I have created during this lock down period. 15 Paintings later.
Hatchery gives me an opportunity to remind myself of who I am. It gives me time to remove myself from reality but also to question and think about my work and the interesting variations in the work produced by the group. As I said to Chris, change is a process which can be conscious or unconscious and it has been good to challenge the way we see our work and to have this opportunity and valuable insight into other artists sense of self.