‘Rough Mischance’ is an acrylic painting on canvas 102cms width x 92 cms height . It is part of a series of works made in response to text and poetry and in particular to the writings of Don Van Vliet. This series of works are developed from experimental compositions taking inspiration from primitive and non-conformist ideologies. The sources which inspire this series of paintings are varied and many, including historic signs, symbols and motifs, mythology, North African art, American Abstract Expressionism, John Hoyland, Paul Gauguin, Howard Hodgkin, Helen Frankenthaler, Barbara Rae, Hans Hoffman, Corneille and the COBRA group. I listen to a lot of music every day and always when I paint. There is perhaps a comfortable relationship between the genres of ambient music and improvised jazz that fits well as a setting for the paintings. The boundaries of what can be managed in a painting present a constant challenge to me and through a process of layering, cancellation and improvisation my intention is always to test such boundaries. I have used text within the image in of ‘Rough Mischance’ using words similarly to the way I use colours. Sentences or phrases are placed to suggest and direct how a viewer might perceive the work and develop their own understanding. The use of text is purposefully ambiguous, yet clearly related and important to the images I make. ‘Rough Mischance’ is about capitalising on creative accident, misadventure and contretemps. The mischance of life and fate; the universe hostile to man; the need to perceive and to act, to see and know, to be sure and quick, to adjust instantly to all instant shift of the balance of forces that bear upon knowledge and surroundings. The composition is structured to allow for incidental visual melodies in the same way a musician can create a sense of meaning and atmosphere through incident and improvised sound. The paintings incorporate visual melodies that have a principal part in the visual harmony.
I work on custom made frame stretched 8oz unprimed cotton canvas. The unprimed canvas allows dichlorotriazine dyes to saturate and bleed into the working area. I work over the dyed canvas using brushes, knives, cloths and squeegees to manage layers of acrylic paint. It is a continuous process of ‘correction’. At different stages I add crushed sea shells to the paint to create heavier surfaces. The paintings are built in layers over a period of time. I like to work on several canvasses at the same time, often returning to a previous painting to affect change and absorb influence from another source. Most of my work is made in series.
Acrylic paints, dyes, crushed sea shells, tissue paper, canvas