I have just began painting after a month or so off due to moving into a new house so I am relieved to finally settle into my new studio. To get myself going I decided to re-work some older paintings that I had begun some two years ago. At the time I was focusing on mark-making and more abstract approach. I continued to work these and enjoy being playful with shape and line and bringing this
way of working to tackle subject-matter which I previously worked in a more realist approach. This change makes sense to me as I felt I was reaching a bit of an impasse and drying up creatively.
Compared to painting from a photo where you have a subject to hinge to; in terms of colour, form, formal aspects in general, working in an 'abstract' vein is more challenging. My difficulty is trying not to leave stuff out. Painting that is more 'language based', turns inward upon itself -the mark-making resonates inwardly- ie: repeated patterns, colour and form that is already in the painting and the danger is taking this too far which inevitably will 'empty' the painting of subject-matter and external references the more it feeds on itself so to speak..basically what happened in the 1970s. it becomes a formal exercise. This is the tight-rope that you need to walk..I think of Richard Diebenkorn's ocean park series.. is an excellent (successful) example of abstraction, not cold and dry and devoid of life like a lot of late modernist abstraction.