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Current Manifesto

Back when I was a kid I used to walk all over the place. By the time I arrived at my destination I would always have collected a fist full of rubbish from the side of the road and made some sort of misguided contraption out of it.  I was a doodler and defacer of classroom desks. While some grow out of this sort of thing I never did. I think that’s what art is about. I’m no different than that old guy who’s still carving duck decoys or his wife who knits sweaters around trees. 

Painting however is more specific than a child’s playful creativity so it is necessary here to explain why I paint the things I do. I have always been drawn to artwork with a fluid sense of motion and calligraphy from our and other alphabets which besides literal meaning can tell a story with angles, swoops and stops. With my paintings I have sought to tell little stories with the lines and shapes that make up more recognisable imagery, this shape echoing that line that colour balancing this. 

Today the world is in a state of flux. Demographically, meteorologically as well as technologically nothing seems immune to change and strong opinion. In times such as these it is tempting for artists to become partisan. I have always preferred in art as well as life to focus on the patterns and relationships born of such changing times. I use what I see in the world allegorically when I do, and roles are often shared or interchangeable. My subjects can be dreamlike and ambiguous but they obey my own laws of cause and effect, often in reaction to other recent paintings of mine. For my purposes a successful narrative is one in which I take definable positions which can be seen from different perspectives. In other words I’d like to paint like a wise, open minded historian, or a weak, ineffectual lawyer.

In recent years I have been carefully tracing my paintings using vector graphics or bézier paths (the pen tool in illustrator). Bézier paths describe lines between points by giving the points values using the sort of maths that painters like me tend to struggle with. Vectored images are infinitely scaleable, and the curves between the points are by their very nature mathematically perfect. A quick glance at my work is enough to see I do my level best to get those curves nice and smooth, tracing the paintings is a way of correcting and refining the images. Pulling a more ideal image from one with natural flaws, like the opposite of Plato’s cave. Having the pieces in this form also allows me to play with different colour schemes, make prints, stickers, lampshades, a friend of mine even made a skin for a virtual drift truck out of one. 

I have just finished the third and final of a series of 8½’ x 5½’ paintings and close to twenty vectors (including the first two 8½’ x 5½’s). My plan for the future is to play with my vectors, making prints using different colour combinations, printing heavily altered sections onto canvas and going back into them with real pain and a hairy brush.