Thursday, October 28, 2010

Peter Doig: It has to feel like it's meant

Heidi Zuckerman: [sweetly] So what are some of the complications of making a painting?

Peter Doig: [hesitant] -- I don't know . . . For me . . . it has to be convincing . . . that's got nothing to do with good drawing, bad drawing . . . bad painting, good painting . . . it has to feel like it's meant, in a way . . . hard to describe I mean because sometimes that can happen quite quickly . . . sometimes it can happen over a long period of time . . .  it's very complicated . . . I think that as soon as you're shallow it's very apparent . . . have to try harder . . . not got anything to do with hard work or anything . . . it's just like a very very subtle thing, it's not really . . . it's kind of not in tune, it's like, you know, a piece of music even if it's discordant it's right, you know? Very hard to describe. The complications are purely between you and the work.

Transcribed from the fascinating Doig-Zuckerman interview

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Josef Albers, Interaction of Color

I've been reading Interaction of Color by Josef Albers (1888 - 1976) and doing some of the exercises. I like the book a lot. It's not dogmatic, rather he takes an enquiring approach, suggesting experiments that can be made to explore different colour interactions. The experiments are open-ended and can be extended in umpteen ways to suit oneself. Don't know how I've managed to miss this book for so long and can see why it's still so popular.

In this exercise I was trying out one colour on different backgrounds to suggest 'Young' (above) and 'Old' (below). I bent the rules a little by altering the quantities and shapes. 

Josef Albers, Interaction of Color, revised and expanded edition 2006. Yale University Press, New Haven & London. Originally published in 1963.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

UK sketchbook

For want of something to post, two pages from the UK section of my sketchbook:

In Kensington Gardens (graphite, A5)

Wildflowers in North Wales (pen, A5) 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A weird installation

I forgot to mention an installation at the Saatchi Gallery. This was Richard Wilson's 20:50. I'd heard about it and had read recently that it shouldn't be missed, so made a separate trip just before leaving. I'm still puzzled by it, still don't understand how it's made and how it works. When you go in there (it's in one of the basement galleries) -- you stand at floor level looking down into the basement which is at a lower level. It appears  to be a huge empty room with the ceiling far above your head and the floor far below, with something odd and unnerving about it. I don't have the words even to describe it. The lower part of the room is evidently filled with oil, which stays perfectly still, not the slightest ripple. It looks like air, which sounds impossible. There's a faint smell of oil but no sign otherwise. The seemingly unsupported walkway leading out into the middle had a rope across it to indicate no entry.  Looking at the photo now, I'm wondering how they dust the window ledges, because evidently the installation is permanent and has been there for a couple of years. It just boggles the mind.