News & Journal - Article

From Beginning to End

Objective: Document a project from the figurative drawing board until its logical completion, mapping one artists approach to the creative process.

Setting it Down

Work progresses on the second painting in the new series, and with this one I've really started to set down on canvas what's been in my head for a while now.

Although I was quite happy with the first attempt, this second painting builds on a certain uneasy feeling only hinted at in the first work, possibly as it starts to capture a previously lacking dynamism.

Artist: David A. Stephenson - Work in Progress - Painting, Acrylic on Canvas
Work in Progress Painting, Acrylic on Canvas.

Ideas to Consume

It's not always a straight path between 2 series of works, relationships often seem to be a loose association of concepts, rather than grand or deliberate confluence of intentions. This would be the case while moving from on from my various 2012 concepts.

Continuing on the consumption themes set up in earlier works, I'm attempting to investigate ways of abstracting and removing direct engagements with subject matter. While the 'Display Case' series in particular confronts the viewer with the everyday realities of purchases, this direct approach does not lend itself to the less tangible, where reasons, justifications or even ideas of future purchases are a primary motive.

One of the less tangible ideas that I'm concerned with, is the idea of travel, or the purchase of experiences, and how this relates to everyday consumption. There is a disconnect between how we perceive the purchase of everyday objects and the pursuit of experiences, though we may use both an experience and an object to define our own personal characters to the world at large.

Lets Get Documenting

I'm attempting the near impossible, to not only keep a journal (of sorts), on my latest endeavor but to also share it. I've never been one to keep a visual arts diary, sure I've got a varied assortment of half filled sketch books, though nothing I'd ever call an actual journal. I'm much more likely to have a number of photocopies, printouts, photos and crappy bits of scribbled paper laying about than anything as concise as a journal. I realise a visual diary is meant to translate into a unique record of ideas, that's just not how I tend to work.

I'm going to dedicate an ongoing article specifically to the as yet to be names series of works. So lets in part, start to rectify years of complacency and document the process, from beginning to end. I promise a bumpy and slightly disjointed ride along the way.

First, a confession: I've already completed one painting, "Fuselage", in the new series, putting me a little behind in my journal keeping. If you're following my twitter (and of course you should) or looked around the website a little before arriving at this article, then you would have a least seen it as a work in progress.

With all that out of the way, onto the actual (disjointed) journaling, we'll start in the very next entry. Don't you just love serialisations.

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Artistic-ish Influences

Some Artistic-ish Influences

The first influential point comes from a gallery invitation for an Arnold Odermatt exhibition. The framing of his work within the context of the invitation is what I find of particular interest. The subject of the show is highlighted within a number of circles on a red field, this sets up an immediate feeling of curiosity and an odd detachment from the images. Any image could be placed within these circles and have a similar effect. The technique could also be harnessed as a means of presenting a kind of peep hole, where we may not be entirely welcomed to witness to what we're being drawn to view.

Secondly to this I was lucky enough to be in Berlin in September last year and caught the Franz Ackermann exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie. Ackermann refers to transport and travel routes as one segment of his ongoing themes, this drew me immediately as this subject was already something I'd been contemplating. Regardless of subject matter, he also uses circular elements within his works as a means of drawing attention to specific details.

Third on the list, David Salle (and others) and a diversionary method of dividing space within a painting, providing both a link and serving to isolate elements.

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