Take 2 Influences 4

Koyaanisqatsi – Phillip Glass

The music I chose had less influence than the artist Katie Pratt. I chose the piece because it suggests overlays and textures and has a wide variety of moods. It also appeals to me as it’s title literally means ‘life out of balance’ in the hopi language that is fighting for survival in the US (Arizona). The music is the soundtrack to the film of the same name. I did not however take the imagery of the film into account for this project. I focused on the sounds the textures and more specifically the repetition of notes or chords. I interpreted them as strokes or marks in charcoal or chalk. However, I did not listen to the music for the full 8 hours in the studio (neither did I focus on Katie Pratt’s work constantly for 8 hours). Music helped in the sense that it was also abstract and this work changes dramatically in tone and mood. some is very heavy and oppressive whilst other sections are lighter and feel more optimistic in what is overall quite a negative piece.


Take 2 Influences 3

exp 2 28:9Experiment 2/3 29 x38cm

After looking at Katie Pratt more and the types of marks she was using and considering the use of drawing media – I returned to charcoal and chalk and repetititive mark making. I reworked the 2nd experiment from yesterday.


experiment 4exp 4 28:9 70 x 100cm detail exp 4 28:9

experiment 5

This one works better as it is looser – perhaps less Katie Pratt but I have incorporated more of her markmaking and left more of the cardboard which justifies it’s use (in exp 2 it has had little impact on the current version).

experiment 5exp 5 28:9 72 x 100cm

Experiment 4 – the forms are rather awkward but I continued working with neater more considered lines. I find this harder less in keeping with he way I work habitually. I am used to working quickly in spurts and this requires more slow paced and repetitive neat mark making.

exp 6 28:9 Experiment 6 – 70 x 100cm Pedro_Pablo_Rubens_-_San_Agustín_entre_Cristo_y_la_Virgen_-_Google_Art_Project

I am trying to reduce the dark forms to brush strokes that are more uniform and repetitive. I also started to add the repetitive dots and dashes from Pratt. I have lost the figuration but I tried to return to the direction of Christ and the Virgin’s gaze (at St. Augustine).

Purley Heights 2010 180x210cm Katie Pratt Purley Heights 2010

Take 2 Influences 2



I really like this idea of applying a kind of scientific approach if not method to the making process. I have started off small format to see what happens and I am applying the verbs that came to me when I was in the San Fernando Museum.

exp 1  21 x 30cm experiment 3   I started relatively small – and then I have continued layering

cover, pour, scrape, hide

experiment 2 29 x 38cm very sketchy and needs to be more considered. less gestural and more controlled.

experiment 577 x 100cmexperiment 477 x 100cm

With the larger ones I have started to think about layering – but I still need to edit I think there is too much happening. I also need to be more controlled maybe slow down with the mark making I am sketchy and need to restrain myself.

I am worried that I am painting rather than drawing regardless of whether the media is typically drawing materials. I now need to add more layers.

I am pleased I have managed to move away from representation but I think the next step is to go back into traditional drawing media and edit and control more.

Take Two Influences 1.

Introduction -Boundaries

I have chosen two influences from different disciplines:

Katie Pratt the abstract painter and the music Koyaanisqatsi by Phillip Glass.

My rationale for these choices is that I love the way Pratt makes marks through variety and layering and I wanted music because it also is often layered with different types of sounds and this piece includes large changes and immense variety. I originally started with the idea of J S Bach’s St. Mathew’s Passion but it was so heavy for so long and I really didn’t feel comfortable with that.

My chosen discipline is drawing and I have limited myself to kraft paper (which I have loads of as it is the same color as canvas and so I sketch on it); indian ink and white acrylics to errase and go lighter. My only doubt about this is that I am working in media close to painting (so close to painting that it actually paint) and that in any case my work is always on the boundaries of painting and drawing. However, I will try to take the time out approach and use these media in new ways.


Starting point Ruben’s Saint Augustine between Christ and the Virgin 1615

I chose this painting walking around the San Fernando Fine Art Museum in Madrid yesterday. I was originally going to use one of the better know works from the Prado but was drawn to this smaller and more intimate museum partially as they have an exhibition of contemporary artwork inspired by El Greco (to mark 400th anniversary of his death). St Augustine possibly drew me in because I have been reading about crying. in Tom Lutz – The Natural and Cultural History of Tears, and he appears quite regularly.

sketch 26th Sept


I made a quick sketch of the composition in the gallery as a starting point.

Look & Listen 20/9/14

I am thinking of using the work of Katie Pratt as one of my ‘Take Two Influences’ after seeing this exhibition at the weekend. I would like to see if by being less figurative and take an abstract painter. The exhibition was very small but my friend Andrew Seto was in it so we took the opportunity to go and visit Saint Chamas. This exhibition gave me the opportunity to see the work very close up. I found the layering and variety of marks and paint growing out of the canvas exciting. As I want to investigate variety of handling of paint myself she may be a good choice.

Par Cark 2008 200x160cm

Car Park 2008 Katie Pratt



Crying Series

Crying: experiment with acrylics
Crying: experiment with acrylics

I am having problems with this work and so I made some quick experimental studies of people crying using acrylics – I am not so comfortable with this material. I am also starting to read Crying by Tom Lutz which puts the act of crying into historical and cultural context – I also need to look at Sam Taylor Wood and  the many crying biblical characters  in western art. I will visit the Museum of san Fernando in Madrid as I think this has a lot of good examples and will be a good starting point.

Notes on VL1 The Reflexive Practitioner Lecture by Angela Rogers

(Sullivan 2010) The idea is that Reflexive takes ‘reflective practitioner’ a step further and is more pro-active less self indulgent. Also the sense of reflexive verbs – actions we do to ourselves – this distinction is difficult to grasp.

  • James Aldridge – the combination of objectivity and distance with the personal and subjective;
  • Christiane Baumgartner – comments on how the world is speeding up – when things move fast become blurred. from close up;
manhattan transfer 2010
manhattan transfer 2010

I love the idea of the tension between the close up hand made work and the large scale images that are taken from the most contemporary digital media.

  • the recognition from looking at another’s work (Rose Wylie in this case) of something that is missing in ones own work. and the discomfort this causes I found interesting.



  • sit and look (in different ways) at what I am making and try to find solutions
  • select images
  • draw / paint
  • store materials / images / work
  • photograph work
  • talk on the landline
  • get dressed (wardrobe in there) X
  • talk with visitors (its in my home) X

the last two I would rather not do in the same space and I am trying to work out other ways I could organise my life.

I don’t usually read in my studio and although I consider what to do I do not refer to theory. It is too unrelated and these things should be more joined up than they are. I tend to read in other places (many).

I also make work in my kitchen – if I am using printmaking techniques this is more comfortable. I use the internet in both places and I am lucky to have good light and a comfortable chair in both places. I think about work in the studio and often in other places. My concern is that I get to a certain level of reflection and that is my ‘dead end’ that I am not connecting theories and ideas with the practice and they remain disjointed and I should somehow connect them in a more meaningful way.

Going round in circles

Observe and Reflect – change the perspective (media pov etc); write about it; describe as metaphor; audio recording of what’s happening – change the context – put it somewhere else physically (imaginal dialgue)

Evaluate – is this intuitive? what are the criteria

(beyond the studio)

What is fine art? difficult to define as we use practices from other disciplines, in many contexts. artists collaborate with many people. the products are extremely varied as are the evaluators – galleries, communities, critics and public.

fine art / history / theory – all rather mixed up now…. medicine – to do good…

The summing up is really helpful and I am going to copy it here so I don’t lose it:

  1. Recognise and acknowledge whose work you are building on
  2. de transparent in your methods and about methodology
  3. be rigorous in recording
  4. be prepared to justify your methods
  5. Dont confuse effort with quality or quantity
  6. be careful of using theory to justify artwork
  7. be modest in your claims
  8. be honest with yourself
  9. don’t lose your curiosity or your courage

I would like to focus on 1, 3,6 and 9 for now although I recognise the importance of methodology and other points..


Arte Madrid 11th September ’14

Yesterday evening the commercial Galleries in Madrid reopened. We visited very few – several in a street called Dr Forquet which is downtown and where there are new places opening all the time – I was really pleased with the quality of the work I saw and a reemergence of non digital work (much of which reflected on our digital world) or traditional media used in new ways such as in Galería Liebre. There was actually some new painting which a few years ago was not so easy to find here in Madrid. I am looking forward to seeing more over the weekend.

Galeria Liebre
Galeria Liebre