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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Thinking about proportions and grids today. Would 100cm x 100 cm be too much to cope with? Will it drive me mad? Making a lot of adjustments to the Eskimo Nebula image using Gimp. Go to Image > Scale Image. First change pixel x pixel size then change size by percent to produce a decent sized print. I’ve printed off several different versions to help me to decide suitable proportions for my painting.


Visited PEER in Hoxton to see ROBERT HOLYHEAD
Paintings and works on paper. Very nice subtle abstract work with a lot of multiples and ‘repetition’.

Over to Tate Britain to see Contemporary collection display: The Space Between There are two more of Robert Holyhead’s paintings displayed here.

Then went to the Lucien Freud exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Having read extensively about Freud many of the images seemed very familiar as they’ve been used to illustrate the writing. Freud’s work reproduce’s very well so the actual paintings held few surprises. I don’t find Freud’s work psychologically insightful. Freud paints with a cruel eye and treats his human subjects as objects. But he uses paint and colour to model his ‘objects’ very well. I think he paints animals with far more sensitivity. His painting method is often crude and clumsy especially latterly. The greatest living (recently departed) painter? Not in my book.

What a pity that the National Portrait Gallery allow so many people to pile in at one time – it’s put me off visiting ‘Blockbuster’ exhibitions ever again.

Visited Dancing Ledges in Dorset at the weekend. Professor Ian West of Southampton University provides an excellent description of this old quarry site in the link provided. Portland stone is approximately 146 million years old. The nearby Square and Compass pub at Worth Maltravers has a superb location and also an interesting museum full of local fossils.

The Flying Dutchman – Wagner. A spectacle, but too close to a musical for my liking.

I’m trying to understand Laruelle’s philosophy. According to Ray Brassier in Axiomatic Heresy The non-philosophy of François Laruelle -‘a thinker who has a serious claim to being the most important unknown philosopher working in Europe today: François Laruelle’

Brassier describes Laruelle’s ‘Non-philosophy is a theor-etical practice of philosophy proceeding by way of transcendental axioms and producing theorems which are philosophically uninterpretable.’ HERE

Okay – I give up!

Just returned from a trip across the London Basin going back in Geological time. Chalk through to Lower Greensand, along the River Thames. Now its time to get to grips with Laruelle.

Attended a lecture by French Philosopher Francoise Laruelle at Goldsmiths yesterday.

Laruelle’s talk was translated into English on a handout which was simultaneously projected onto a large screen. Laruelle delivered his talk in French, parts of which were translated by a translator into English. The translator was clearly having trouble understanding what Laruelle was talking about. The audience was also having trouble understanding what Laruelle was talking about. Translations of translations of translations – a metaphor for science?

I need to read the handout carefully and investigate Laruelle’s propositions before I can claim to understand what he was trying to explain!

I’m thinking about scaling my work up a bit but my attempts at making larger stretchers have been useless. I may have to buy some ready made stretcher bars and this would have the added benefit of being able to tighten the canvas with wedges. John Jones provides some useful information ‘how to knock together an artwork stretcher’.

Further useful information thanks to John Jones ‘how to stretch a canvas’.

Reading The Value of Art by Michael Findlay.

Very readable and informative book with interesting advice on how to approach paintings (in exhibitions). As somebody who reads all the labels before looking at the artworks it’s good to be reminded that other approaches might be more fruitful.

p 127 Findlay suggests navigating exhibitions backwards – to avoid crowds in the rooms nearest the entrance. Sit down as much as possible and choose work that you like in each room – then give that work time. This is something I never do anymore. p 126 “Try to look at a painting for one hour and see what happens” I need to revisit this way of looking at art! Choose work that you like and discuss with (at most) two friends.

This approach is easier said than done with busy exhibitions. This is a good reason to visit less popular exhibitions.