Writings

The process is just a vehicle for moving your understanding forward to a point where you dont need to understand anymore.

The marks made must be put down with intent. Intent, and understanding your intent and understanding and recognising your own needs from the work - these need to be present when making the marks. You have to be aware and be accepting of what comes to you - and to be free to apply these directions without question of vanity or design or shame or embarrassment or consideration to others or worry about others. It has to be as if you are preparing a meal for yourself and you are constantly tasting the food as you add ingredients - and you are cooking for only you. You can make it as hot as you personally want.

But all of this should be so obvious that it needn't even be said.

These things should be in the back of your mind but not jostling for a place when you are making the work. When you are making the work it should be a matter of listening to your own needs. Your needs are the master of the piece. It is made from what you want at that time. It is there to satisfy your needs - and most often those needs are to delve into the new and make you progress to the next step.

Sometimes things are done solely because they seem to be the right thing to do at the time. Nothing deeper than a feeling of what to do - and nothing as deep as just feeling what to do.

The spontaneous moment can either be a misguided mistake or a recognition of a deeper more instinctual reaction to a situation.

You make what comes to you. You open yourself up to what comes to you. The trick is to recognise what comes to you and then to make the link to a physical way of representing it.

Paint is an amazing thing. It allows the painter to control light, form, colour and message to show his individual wants in each aspect, giving him a final result that touches on what he wants to show of himself. Painting is a direct way to express what would seem to be the most personal subjective observations that our thin veneer of consciousness allows.

Making art is about making observations about ourselves.

It is the small nudges, the delicate whispers that are the strongest guides. But you do not hear them when you start. All you hear are the loud noises - the new sensations, the new equipment shouting at you. The unusual sensations make noise. When all the noise has calmed down, after years of working and becoming familiar with what you are doing, then you can hear the whispers and appreciate the little signals that push you onto the bigger things.

However it isn't a medative state - it is a mistake to try and drown out the loud noises by being 'spiritual' - you dampen the loud noises by working through them, becoming used to them and not allowing them to push you around. It isn't a calm place - you are just as alert and receptive - its just that you are now aware of guiding sensations that before were not available to you. These sensations cannot be hunted for, they cannout be discovered by force - they cannot be taught - they can only be experienced when you are ready; when you have worked through everything else; when you have the confidence to know what is true to you and what is just a loud overbearing sensation or noise. You could call it experience - but you can have years of experience and not move on from the loud noises.

You cannot hunt for the delicate signals - you cannot seek them out. They come to you when you are ready to see them and make use of them. When you are able to filter out the right and true from the wrong and untrue.

Its not 'Zen' or 'mystical'. It is being more aware that you are receiving suggestions - gateways are opening up in your mind - but they are opening up quietly. And it is important to stress that these guides do not show themselves if you look for them. They come to you out of the blue - you need to recognise them and follow them.
it is similar to a physical pull inside. The sensation of rightness, correctness, truth, feels like a tug, a gentle pull. That is the best way to describe something that is so difficult to describe.

I sit in a darkened room that is situated outside and listen to the birdsong all around me, and I use controlled light to make marks on light sensitive paper that mirror my response to the birdsong. It's just like a painters studio except that i am in the dark, the windows are boarded up and only a dim red light lets me see the paper and I use sound as a source of response rather than what I see. I am in isolation but surrounded by the most suggestive and inviting sound - birdsong. And you can only work this way in a darkened room that limits your sight. It restricts what input you have (sound) and therefore makes your output more direct and reliable.

The years on the beach seem to me to be similar to the constant practice with a bow - the endless repetition until eventually something happens that is different and seemingly understood -

I am happy being in an obscure world of lines and shapes with no colour. A place where the arrangement of lines and shapes can produce the results that you need to satisfy. When your needs are so simple, when honestly you feel excitement at the line against a shape - then you are free to explore the very base of what there is. You have no need for anything else.

If you can get what you want and need from line and form then your are rich. Because the line and form is the base of everything. If you do not feel the need to add more then you are honestly content with the most basic relationship between form and line - then you have reached a simplicity that allows the free thought and reaction - or maybe instinct - or hidden suggestions and nudges - to be heared and felt all the more keenly.

When simplicity gives you what you need then you are open to understanding your reaction in a more direct way.

The unusual beats beauty every time. I found that while working on the beach you could have the most spectacular sand patterns but one footprint always caught the attention - it was the first thing that your eye was attracted to. Unusual beats beauty. The unexpected, or disruptive beats beauty.

The further down this road i go, the freer i feel. Free to follow suggestions that are served up to me by something, somewhere. Free to be fearless - and trust in these quiet whispers.

It is not about the subject. It never has been about the subject. It is about my ability to bring forward a way of showing my response to a subject (any subject). The same way that archery is not about the target, it is about your ability to hit the target. That is the same with the luminograms - it is a constant testing of my ability to show my response to the subject.

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE SENSES. How the sensation of an experience or a thing can be replicated or mirrored by a very simple application of marks and how they relate and respond to each other.

How a simple couple of lines can give the maker a mirror of an experience that was originally felt when experiencing a subject.

How and why the senses respond to things. Its a analysis of your own response to subjects and how you can mirror that response by mark making. And WHY simple mark making gives that sensation that is the same as, for example, a landscape.
A recognition of response. A memory of that response.

A replication of that response by making totally unrelated marks.

A landscape, or rather the EXPERIENCE of a landscape is much more than just the seeing of the landscape. All the senses come into play - the sounds, the smells, the warmth or cold. And not only that, but how you as a person feel at that moment - it comes into how you are experiencing the landscape. And all of those things cannot be caught in a photograph. You need to be able to express all of those sensory factors in a physical way that works for you - and only then will you be able to take the bundle of experiences that form what you are experiencing and wrap them up together. That is why an image that shows your sensory input from all aspects is a far more accurate representation of what is actually happening to you, rather than a single shot that shows what only your eyes are experiencing.

And if you are trying to capture the whole package - all of your sensory input then you are also including your personal feelings too. So not only are you showing how the landscape is affecting your senses but also how you, as a person at that moment in your life, is responding to it - made up of what you are at that moment (sad, angry, frustrated, excited) - and these things are not only about the landscape but about how you feel in your life - your personal situation is included too.

But why is this important? Why do we need to show this?

We experience the world through all our senses. How we are as a person and what kind of a person we are contributes to how we accept and process this sensory information. How we are in our lives affects our response to the sensory input. The only way to show a representation of all the senses is to use a universal 'language' that can be learned and manipulated at will to provide a mental blackboard on which you can translate these complicated sensory inputs.
All your senses combine to make you 'feel'. Not see or smell or taste or hear - but they all combine to make you feel. And how you were feeling before is included in the mix. And how you feel is down to how you respond to all this sensory input. So, your response to all your sensory input is ultimately your experience of a thing. Therefore to show this experience you need to discover a way of physically producing a form of 'output' that can accurately be used to mirror your response - and therefore your response to a thing - any thing.

Imagine an aquarium filled with a swirling mass of thought. That is how I see work. Like a captured living entity.

When you draw from nature with a pencil you look at the subject and then at the drawing and you draw. Then you look up again and again. It is a constant process of looking, drawing, looking and drawing. Over and over again - observing, compairing, correcting, discovering the form. When you draw in an unrepresentational way you look and look and look and then you draw - and you draw. It feels like when you look you are taking one deep deep breath and the drawing is where you let the breath out. In fact you are taking in all sensations, you are trying to grasp how the subject makes you respond and you remember that, you take it all in deeply, and then you turn to the paper and you draw marks that mirror that response that you had. You scrabble for the hint of recognisition in response, you vaugly grasp until the line comes to where it should and you move ahead and you get what you need.

APRIL 2019 - MAY 2020