ORDER & CHAOS : Week 5 Part 3


the painting about halfway looking rather dull


I decide the version I am looking at is too polite. (although looking at it now as I write I might say too structured, graphic or boring)


I find I am constantly being pulled – by no ‘force’ other than myself between making neat smoothed strokes with clean edges and wilder rougher marks that scratch stuff up and disrupt or obliterate, not to mention the thick smudgy smear and dribble that I love. Especially when two colours mash up together on their own. Both techniques serve to obliterate the smooth stuff.


Occasionally I do too much of that and get the knife out to smear stuff off or scrape into the surface. But my favourite tool for that is definitely a lump of charcoal. It pushes into the paint, grooving and smearing it but where it encounters dry paint it either leaves a trail of what its been through or a mark of its own, sooty and grey black. Sometimes I smudge this, but mostly I let it remain.

I use all these on this picture, constantly turning it, reworking it and piling blue on and then hiding it again.


These are the two constant pulls I feel on this painting. Order against chaos and blue against not blue. It’s a real struggle as I don’t know where the answer leis. I know that the former represent the two great forces of the universe. Order is gravity and chaos its opposite, the explosion outwards. The nature of existence is the blancing and rebalancing between the two and moments of equilibrium. We perceive these – given our short lives – as eternal. In reality – or in universe/geological time – they are in constant flux, the real state of the universe is permanent impermanence. Change is both creative and destructive. I consider the brush in my hand as a metaphor for that but my work is rather too small for such a grand theme I think.


As for blue well in the end I go for it and let it have its way. I love the rich brightness I achieve in the end as it pings off against the deeper purple and warm burnt sienna.

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