In place out-of-placeness
After quite a number of years painting traditional watercolours I wanted to take a more personal and imaginative approach to painting.
When I discovered Master Painters and admired their work, rather than plagiarising them, it was a fact that I found my work reflected/echoed in theirs, simply because I wasn’t educated or aware enough of their work in the first place, to be able to imitate it.
However this also put paid to the idea that my
discoveries or surface coverings were completely new or unique in approach. There’s nothing new under the sun. Something is new because you have produced it for the first time, giving birth to it. Not because it is totally unlike anything, ever before.
I discovered and like the work of Raoul Dufy the Master ‘decorator’. To me his inventiveness and playfulness demonstrated that the artist must first enjoy making his mark(s) regardless of whether it is ‘high art’ or demonstrative of great skill.
Dufy’s surfaces are interjected with small patches of – out of place – shapes or colours or whatever.
The trick is that no matter what shape, mark, colour, item, object or personage we introduce into a painting, the new element must be made to fit the whole.
Even a contrasting out-of-placeness must be
intuitively in-place within the picture frame.
Often a new introduced element dictates with a loud and demanding voice that the rest of the painting be altered, or added to, if you are going to embrace the oddity of the new shape.
The painting cannot remain the same, it must expand or change to incorporate this new element.
Painting is often like spilling (in tragic accident form) something onto a virgin surface. The artist must then work like a juggler to make something from this accident – to a degree he is a ‘beggar who can’t be a chooser’ as he makes the stain into a depiction either of something connected to the theme, or at least of pleasing shape, within the context of the whole. Thus beginning – posterity demands it cannot be left alone and must be turned into a painting.