I have been painting a burial chamber. Completely taking it out of its context. I’m taking the shape and putting it in an empty room, with no colour, no landscape. I am painting the site removed of landscape and removed of its materiality. No weather, soil, earth, living thing, wind, or sun. Everything in this new diorama is artificial and human.
What does it mean to take these places out of their context? I am removing the sites of their meaning. Why am I doing that?!
Do I need to know why?
I feel less iffy about the diorama I did of St Nicholas Church.
This feels more straight forward. I am playing with the construction of landscape, quite literally, in that the painting depicts a flimsy landscape, it’s clear how it has been constructed. It’s silly. The painting is self aware of the artist’s process, the process of taking a landscape and turning it into a landscape painting is laid bare, no illusions.
I should do more of these!
Making a cardboard diorama perhaps just from memory, that might be interesting? Or using sketches from tomorrows walk. I like the idea of the dioramas becoming more abstract, more angular and more complicated. Having more moving parts. More like Peter Lanyons sculptures which were already abstract. Perhaps my medium for these dioramas would need to change, or become more mixed media.
The paintings of the landscape without a megalithic site in it, are those paintings less personal? Less interesting? What does that even mean, I just have to go with my gut.
Space can be mapped from outside, or from within – Lanyon brings both into the same composition.
Looking through the sample pages from this Peter Lanyon book I understand more about how he worked – lots of time, hours, days spent drawing the place, talking with locals, time in the pub, reading about the history of the place…
I haven’t done much drawing since I’ve been here in St Ives. I’ve done some, but not massive amounts. I’m worried that when I get back to my studio in Manchester I’m going to be frustrated with the lack of material, now that I can’t go back on walks there.
I just can’t see why I would paint outside. I’ve lost my passion for it. Is that laziness? I think it’s more that I want to work from memory. Perhaps the sketching I want to be doing is in the studio. I fancy getting that big roll of paper out, a stick of charcoal and acrylics, and battling with shapes.
I’m going to go on a walk tomorrow, I have more of the Tinners way to do, but I also fancy walking a bit of the coast. Perhaps I can do both? Two different trips? After writing this I feel like painting the coastline is more exciting than the megalithic sites I’ve been doing. I haven’t been focusing enough on the coastline.
Right I think I’m done with thinking and writing and reading, I’m going to go out!
Further reading section see: