Went to see the Gerhard Richter “Panorama” Exhibition at Tate Modern yesterday.  The painting which caused me the most excitement was “June”

http://www.gerhard-richter.com/art/search/detail.php?6506

I’ll be spending some more time looking at that one for sure. 

I always come away from seeing large canvas’ somewhat frustrated that I don’t have more space to do my own paintings that size.  The biggest so far has been the Trafalgar mural at approximately 2 metres by 4,  painted with silicate mineral paint.  I’ve got a few more murals on walls here and there, and some on  large unstretched canvas.  But how nice to have something with more of an expanse.  To challenge oneself with.   In a few years with more of a studio space I’ll have the chance to work bigger.  Bigger certainly isn’t better, but I think it could be more exciting challenge-wise.

Enamel paint.  I haven’t used this much, but one of Richter’s painting in enamel suggested the possibility and certainly to get a high gloss finish, this could be just the right material for certain applications.  Must try.

Around the Tate Modern are some other paintings, and I took a look at those on Level 5 yesterday.  I must observe that the painting area is much busier than some of the other parts of the Tate Modern.   The level of engagement with the work is much clearer and quite noticable.

Priceless expression…The look on a lady’s face as she viewed some of the sculpture…Horror! Confusion! Fear! The terror of not knowing how to react, how to understand, how to respond.  What to make of it?  It was one of the highlights of the visit.    Though I very much enjoyed a few of the sculptural exhibits myself, because I feel no need to know anything of them than what I personally feel, (apart from maybe a little information about context) and I always admire technical expertise and craftsmanship, (if applicable),  I can imagine how distressing it might have been for her.

I should have brought a packet of Persil with me.  One of the sculptures I did enjoy was “Venus Of The Rags” by Michelangelo Pistoletto. (What a great name!)

  http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?cgroupid=999999961&workid=88060

Delightful moment number two was a little boy saying that he thought his socks might be in there!

Confronted week by week with piles of washing at home, this sculpture had a special resonance with me.  I  also have a bit of a “thing” about outdoor objects being indoors. 

Very impressed with Gunther Vecker’s “White Field” 1964 mixed media.  Nails.  Paint.  Hard and soft in apprearance at the same time.  Manolo Millares certainly knows his stuff too. “Painting 150” 1961.  I am going to need to take some time to look at some more of his work.

Took down my exhibition at the Cornerhouse Community Arts Centre today.  Plan is to concentrate on painting without the huge endeavour of putting on a solo exhibition for the next couple of years.  I have several materials and techniques I want to experiment with and I feel a certain momentum gathering inside, which usually means that time will be productive when spent on painting. 

 

Painting is “For Chris at Itchenor” 2009.  Looking back rather fondly at this painting which has the emotional and compositional elements exactly how I wanted them.  With all this playing around with materials (great at it is) I shouldn’t loose my way, but keep asking myself what the heart of each painting is.

 

“Calm”.  Doing my usual thing of playing around on the computer at this time of year, with different drawings and paintings.  I like black.  Working on several black and white images and extending my skills with Photoshop.  Paths. Effects. Layers.  Fun.

Working on some paintings, some oil, some acrylic.  It’s handy to have both mediums: I wouldn’t have space to dry all the oils, and as acrylic is quick to dry, the problem is solved.  Made a nice medium today with sand, which I like the texture of.  Some pigments I slaked a while back have gone a little mouldy…I did put some whiskey in, which I thought would solve the problem, but there’s still some mould there.  Mind you, easy to scrape off. 

Because “fine art” is now so intellectual, so conceptual, so theoretical, I cannot be done with it. 

It takes me away from my paint, takes me away from the emotion which fires my painting, takes me away from my instincts.  Takes me away from focusing on what I am doing, and makes me self-conscious, which is a very bad thing.  I feel “painter” sits more comfortably.  I have to use the word “fine artist” for the sake of google and searches and suchlike.  Visual Artist is better.  Visual Communicator is even better. 

 

Peter Lanyon Clevedon Night 1964

Peter Lanyon Clevedon Night 1964

I sometimes come across paintings (or prints of paintings) which excite me so much I know they are there to teach me something which will bear fruit in my own work and “Clevedon Night” by Peter Lanyon is one of those that continues to entice me further into the realm of experimenting with paint.  The artist himself thought the group of paintings it is part of  to be “crazy, quite invisible, victorian and unsaleable”.  So the fact I am besotted with it…Is this a good or bad thing?!  (Laughing).  It matters not. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoyed a lovely opening event. 

 

Hung the exhibition today with the much valued help of Stella, and it looks very nice.  Job done.  Two pots not shown, as I am bringing them on the opening night.  

http://www.thecornerhouse.org/shows/show.aspx?showid=280

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 6th December to Friday 30th December.  The opening night, which is open to all, is Tuesday 6th December 7pm to 9pm.  I will be there to answer any questions about my work and it should be an enjoyable, sociable time too.  Drinks and nibbles will be available, and there is work offered for sale, ranging from £15 for digital C-prints, up to around £300 for framed paintings. 

It is possible to get access to the exhibition during Cornerhouse opening hours, but these do vary depending on what else is going on.  If you cannot make the opening night but would like to come along and view the work at another time, then take a look on the Cornerhouse website to see when the building is open.  Alternatively, feel free to contact me on j.meehan@tesco.net or via my website www.jennymeehan.co.uk .

Made time today to enjoy my book “Ivon Hitchens” by Peter Khoroche.   My favourite eye resting place today was “Summer Water, Morning 1961”.   Had a little peep at John Hitchens’ website, intrigued to find out what his son’s paintings are like.  I liked what I saw on the site..Abstract landscapes, confident, interesting.  Also found a good source of  fodder for browsing through in the BBC website “Your Paintings”.  See http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/

As I swing in my mind between the virtues of painting from life (the outer kind) and painting from life (the inner kind) I wonder if I waste my time with the dilemma; I suspect that I do.  This is not helpful. What does it matter?  I suspect also that it is too much concern with the reception of my painting, and too little concern with faithfulness to my inner drive.  Looking through my Hitchens book is always helpful to me in this respect, as I see the paintings do not suffer the concerns of others, but only the person who painted them, and this is exactly the way that it should be.

I am in that funny place just before an exhibition.  I have abandoned all hope (this always happens!) and feel flung into the pointlessness of it all.  This might sound bad, but I am getting used to it.  It’s almost routine.  I understand that Picasso felt so bad sometimes about his work that he refused to attend some of his own exhibitions, and if he felt like that about his work, then I am pleased to feel the way I do about mine.  

It will pass.

 

 

 

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