So hopefully this will help me see where I’ve come from and where I’m going to, as well as providing a record of my art production… let’s start with the most recent. I’ve lived in Paris for a few months now. My french is ok verging on crap depending on the day and how stressed I am if it’s something important I’m doing (like trying to choose the wine for our dinner guests). I did start (free) lessons a few months ago but then between one thing and another I never got round to going very often. I’ve promised myself that my gift to myself for “le Rentree” in September will be a kick in the arse to go back to lessons. There in nothing in the world more frustrating than not being able to commmunicate articulartely, especially when you know that given the chance in your mother tongue, you could flatten someone in two minutes in the same argument. (This is not referring to my partner – when the discussion gets heated we both revert to our own language!) Anyway, soon my three-year-old will move beyond “elle s’appelle ‘my mammy'” and “regarde look la” and then I’ll be in trouble if I don’t keep up. Which brings things round to my current paintings. Quite dark, yes, but that in part comes from using enlarged details of previous paintings to create the abstract element of the work. Over the course of a few weeks I took some photos in cemetaries here – away from the noise and bustle of busy streets. Away too from listening to a language which, unless someone addresses themselves clearly at me – presents itself as some kind of incomprehensible background noise sometimes. The cemetary might be full of overblown stone memorials to people who in many cases are long gone and often clearly forgotten judging by their state of disrepair, but the quietness is a language I can understand. I can hear it almost.
I loved some of the statues here. As if they speak lucidly and loudly without an audible sound. So I took them home after a spectacularly and unexpectedly hot day in March and let them have a word or two through the medium of paint. I’d been working a lot with Photoshop lately while building my own website (the initial excitement of designing has given way to the tedium of the finishing details, of which I have never been fond, and am dragging my heels on completing), so I tweaked the photos somewhat, but only very slightly as somehow the light had given them a depth of colour I hadn’t noticed in the daylight. Printed onto tissue and pasted on, the photo finds a way to complement the abstract element already in place. I thought this one worked well. Others are taking a bit longer to pull themselves in some kind of balance but hopefully will find their way soon.