There are very few photographs of the start of a drawing, I have to think about it beforehand, which takes away the mystery of the process, which you cannot see.
The ever mutating studio wall. I’ve felt for a while now that the public does not get a good idea of the artwork from a digital or computer screen of some kind. That wall is not electric.
The painting is called ‘The Last Supper’, 1996, you can probably see why. That’s Judas hanging in the corner, I had to find a way to fit that in with the rest of the nonsense, there is a lot of it in this painting. There is an H- bomb dropping from the sky and the writing on the wall says…
And the Lord spake unto his disciples,
LOOK AT THIS MESS,
and verily he said, I can’t leave you guys alone for one minute,
and then he let them have it, saying unto them,
‘This is it! This is the last time I do anything for you lot of ….
Its been seen in public twice now, with a friendly audience only, a pop up type show in the anthropology lunch room, maybe it was independent studies. And a little out of the way cafe where I had to carry it on the bus to deliver it, I was so determined to poke somebody in the eye with it. Its quite heavy, 48″ X 32″ X 0.5″ plywood and 20 lbs or so of paint.
Once I had recovered enough breath to walk further afield, sitting around the trees was still the best feeling. Maybe there is more oxygen in their vicinity. I never really learned to draw or sketch formally. I had a few oil painting lessons from a local learning centre when I was a teenager. This is all entirely self taught. When I look at a blank piece of paper or canvas or wood, my intention is to create a finished piece, not a sketch. However I have made oil paintings from these drawings.
‘A tree beside the dam in the park.’, 8″ X 10″, pencil on paper.
‘The foot of the tree in the park across the road from the centre of the universe.’, 9″ X 12″, pencil on paper.
‘The other side of the foot of the tree in the park across the road from the centre of the universe.’, 9″x12″, pencil on paper.
These drawings were among the first I made following yet another health disaster. Lung disease from living in industrial cities. Doing industrial jobs, I was a sign painter when it was done with paint, also highly toxic, full of lead and every other element of suspicious sources to make real colour that lasts. Forever. That’s what it said anyway. At this point in time I was coping with the 8th time my lung collapsed. Like a balloon popping, you can hear it when it happens. I recovered by sitting on trees and drawing them. The roots mean something to me, the interface to the underworld. The part the tree knows but you don’t. They also look like foothills of mountain ranges like the Himalaya’s which are getting bigger as the glaciers disappear.
The trees across the road from the Centre of the Universe. The best thing is sitting on the roots of one and drawing the roots of the other, a neighbour of 95 years, and there they are.
I believe its a fact of physics, the more hungry people there are, the more people will be pulled into that grief. Like a gravity well, a black hole of hunger.
It is a constant theme in my artwork.
The plaster casts were intended for the kitchen counter back splash for the ‘Hungry Kitchen Exhibit’.
I have repainted this image a few times, 5 I think. I have one here in my studio. I will probably paint it again.
‘M-16’, acrylic on paper. 2014. I usually get carried away in my head when I like the image. I can use it then as an icon to represent something else. In this case war. I wonder if its related to the repetitive thinking I have, often. Some thank me for recognizing their value defending us, others see it as something far more troubling. The militarization of everything.
Haunted by Orwell.
This is a digital version I have played with. I would like to get more 3d into the image. When I make this one again I will use plaster instead of paint. Build it onto a sheet of plywood.
Thank you for your help.
An unquiet mind. A long time ago, decades before I was diagnosed as bipolar ( the name seems to shift with the movements of psychiatry) I discovered drawing without thinking helped with the agitation that is ongoing with bipolar disorder. I would liken it to meditation, which I have tried but I prefer the physical act of drawing to contribute to the universe. Not quite doodling though, these usually take a lot of time, my body can be physically exhausted, but my mind will not shut up. For days this can go on, seemingly endless. When I was young, I could put it to use working, but now its just exhausting. The digital work is useful then, I can make an eBook from all the work already in hand. And having an actual hardcover of these works is even better. So much of my work, even now, is very large. Too large for most normal living room walls.
Coffee and lots of it. Thank you for visiting.
While I have been preparing for an upcoming show.
The show is concerning the order and disorder of mental health.
My condition is bi-polar, but I prefer to say I am bi-polar.
This work is all entirely new long after the themes of the show and the work have been decided. The work keeps happening, it keeps changing too. We live in a change machine. Its the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy will always increase
Its difficult to get the scale of a painting just showing the image on a webpage. So I peeled some of the tinfoil off the windows to let some light in. Thats a really huge coffee cup on the thingy there with some tea in it.
I took a quick snapshot of Canada, and stuck the tinfoil back down. Its cold here.