Finishing painting no.8


I basically just painted a whole new painting on top. Except it couldn’t become a whole new painting because the other painting was underneath and I was trying to finish that one. Messy.

I can understand this struggle using the concept I posed in note, brief form in this blog post I wrote yesterday. In the post I explained that when painting, I establish a world within the painting, and to do that I establish the light, space, distance, gravity, dimensions etc. of the world in the painting . When I painted yesterday, I constructed a world based on where I was yesterday ie. the weather was doing x, I was feeling y, the light was doing z, the ground was doing w, etc. And as I painted, the rules emerged and became established.

Each rule tells the eye (the viewer) something about the painting. One rule is the distance the eye can see into the painting. Another rule us what the light is like in the painting. Another is whether the eye is looking up at the sky, down at the ground, or somewhere else. Another is if there are forms blocking the eye from looking into the painting, or whether the painting opens up to a larger space – how ‘closed’ or ‘open’ the painting is. What I mean a rule being ‘established’ is that, for example, the perspective of the painting is decided; whether the view is of up, looking straight across, or down at the ground. Another ‘rule’ is established when the abstract painting tells you how far into the distance one can see, ie. the distance in the painting. Another is how how much light is in the painting. Etc.

Establishing the ‘rules’ of the painting happens in conjunction with the painting being resolved, and finished. The establishing of the ‘rules’ happens slowly; each kind of ‘rule’ is not established in one mark, nor in one decision in my head, rather each ‘rule’ is established as layers of paint are built up. For it is highly unlikely that one singular mark will establish a rule, it is multiple marks and their arrangement that establishes a rule.

I am going to play around with this idea in photoshop. I am going to try separating each rule and playing with how it is established.

‘Rules’ sometimes are established together, there is not one group of marks for each ‘rule’ but marks can decide multiple rules. Each mark may be part of making one rule or multiple rules. For example, the gravity in the scene, ie. whether things float in space, or are grounded to a bottom of the canvas, or something else(!) is determined by the shape and placement of marks. These same marks inevitably have colour – tone and hue, and therefore determine line and atmosphere, all at the same time.

Roberta (my sister) commented when I was telling her about what I’ve been thinking about, that the ‘rules’ I created for the places I was painting in in March, ARE STILL THE SAME when after I have returned 10 months later. 😮

‘Feeling over form’ a thought I had whilst painting. I make a shape which doesn’t represent the form of the thing in the real world, but takes on its own form (which suits the rules of the world in the painting?). The shape adopts a colour, thickness, location on the canvas etc that best represents the form, and I change the thing external to me in the world, so that it fits within the painting, within the ‘rules’ of the painting.
I don’t do this with intention, but am picking it apart now, on reflection.

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