Saturday, 12 January 2013

About my work

We all have our own ideas about what a painting or a piece of art should be. For each of us, "art" means something different. For me, I am not sure. It is a tricky word.
Is it what I have been doing? To be honest, it really doesn't matter to me and for that I am glad. Working in the way I am currently has been a somewhat freeing experience. I have simply been trying to express myself rather than keep to the restrictions of a brief.

Working as a professional illustrator and designer in my time, any effective images I produced had two things: to communicate a specific message and to elicit an emotional response. The order in which these things occurred was largely irrelevant. The effect on the viewer was the important thing. That said, if the message was unclear, a strong, exciting looking image could cover a multitude of sins.

The paintings I produce are not planned beforehand. There is no art director providing me with a doodle or a detailed brief. They emerge in the making. I love them because each of them was a little adventure. I took a canvas and began and in the act of beginning directions revealed themselves. When that happened, it was harder to stay fluid and maintain spontaneity. That is always the challenge in expressionistic work - to keep loose enough to surprise yourself with results.

Some of the pieces have themes and others are the themes themselves. All of them contain emotions: my response to the paint and the ink and the colour, to the contrasts suddenly appearing on the surface, to the marks being made by the brushes, knifes and sponges.

Recent paintings have a fantastical element. When I was a boy, I remember the back of Weetabix packets having a cut-out cardboard theatre set from Doctor Who. I loved that - the sense of a cut-out and keep stage that you could build and look into to see another world. Many of my character illustrations are clearly influenced by the world of fantasy, B-movies and science fiction and the group of paintings that make up the on-going "Jungles" series reflect the palette and underlying love of exotic, verdant worlds where beauty and danger co-exist.

In the end, whether you see a theme in a piece or not, you will hopefully feel an emotional response to the work. If so, then I am happy.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Marketing leaflet for exhibition space

Had a call from the exhibition host asking for more marketing material to be available at the show, so I have quickly put together an A4 info sheet .
I find this a really good exercise to do as you get the chance to re-review all the services you can offer to interested people.

Had no room for the info about the sports and remedial massage clinic I run though!

Monday, 7 February 2011

The unavoidable element of ourselves....

I was looking through some of my more "illustrative" work the other day and came across two images that I made in 2010. The themes and colour palettes of both struck me as elements that are both naturally occurring at the moment in my more more expressive, larger painted canvasses. This is interesting to me as the process involved in making images such as The Wizard and Tiki Grooves can be a lot more planned and "tight". The pace and approach involved in the expressionist paintings I am currently working on is usually quicker and - I think - braver. Yet, the same strong, rich colours are coming out in the new paintings, as well as shapes and forms that are almost the raw material of the more formal/figurative/literal characters and props that appear in the illustrative work.
It is encouraging to me to see this happening. Once, when discussing the idea of changing my illustrative style (I was unhappy with the work that I was producing commercially at that time), someone said to me that he thought it was nigh on impossible to do such a thing: that to simply force a change to one's work and approach could not be done with any degree of authenticity or substance. Changes to approach would rather come slowly and in small measures through periods of personal experimentation and investigation.
Now I think I see what that person meant. A creative can make even dramatic changes in direction, media, intent, but in it all, there will always be something of the essential THEM in whatever they produce. If you look, you will always see colours, or shapes, or themes or attitude that speak of the person behind the art, whether that be painting, music or writing. I find that really encouraging, because it shows us how we have all been created as wonderful individuals. The best thing, therefore, that any artist can be, is themselves and that must start with being honest with oneself, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Opening night at venue Cymru

, originally uploaded by P Brown.

Me and Crocodile, which sold before the exhibit began!

Last night's opener in Venue Cymru went well. It was so nice to see friends and share work with them. The general reception of the new paintings was very positive and I was really heartened that people picked up on the joy and the positive feelings coming from the colours and the gestures in the pieces.
Aside from Crocodile, 2 other pieces sold to a buyer from the local area, one of which is a favourite of mine, so it's tie to say goodbye to Wild Bloom, Breeze.

Following the show, a few of us made our way to a local bar and had food and much chatter about art and drawing, which has encouraged me further to get out some paper and charcoal this space!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

untitled. Acrylic and ink on canvas leaf. 200 x 190mm

untitled, originally uploaded by P Brown.

Just added this to a group of paintings for sale at my ebay.
I love the playfulness and almost goofiness of this piece and feel that there was some inspiration here from Miro......also, it was completed during a period last year of work inspired by a trip to Southern California.

The canvas paper provided a lovely texture for making the scratchy ink marks that contrast so effectively with the paint strokes.