Work over the last 18 months has been necessarily rooted in structure. Starting from nothing I have developed a basic system, travelled down certain tangents and defined a few rule sets within which I can paint in the way I want. Thus I am still faithful to my manifesto of painting to maximise pleasure. Of course along the way I reached dead ends – points at which things became too murky and paintings began to fail too regularly, but in such cases it has been easy to return to that basic framework of success and ensure the activity could once again function correctly.
During this time I have worked almost exclusively in series’, waiting until I have a reasonable number of examples before explaining my next step. This has of course been necessary in order to thoroughly explore any idea and make sure it worked (or didn’t). Now however, having explained inside out the initial ideas it seems unnecessary to continue waiting until I have small bodies of work to document what I’m doing. A more free, fluid and immediate approach seems better and therefore the next major adjustment to my practice is not in the work itself but in the way I present it.
On a day by day, week by week basis this of course means what I put on this site. So far my online presence has mirrored my approach to painting – organised, planned, rigid and considered. However an extensive post or mass upload of images once a month (if that) now seems a little cumbersome, and the current website structure I use demands a relatively laborious procedure to update (for a non-IT professional at least). Therefore at this point making a switch to a more author friendly system that requires little more than a ‘content dump’ into a pre-existing layout makes for a far better opportunity to refresh regularly and reserve more time for painting. The plan now is to present paintings on an individual basis rather than in batches of 6 or 7. I intend to post new work as and when it is completed to be examined on its own rather than holding it back to ensure it functions as an example of a system. Furthermore it appears potentially more sympathetic to my plan to give paintings away for free. I think a continuous flow of image after image, week after week will be of more interest to the viewer than trawling through long, rarely changing galleries.
This is not to say that new series’ won’t develop of course. I very much hope and indeed expect they will. One of the most important reasons that I feel able to present paintings in a more fluid manner now is because they adhere to the rules developed whilst producing them in groups. They are all still part and borne of their series, but I no longer need them to justify the specific families to which they belong. In fact now it’s more like the other way around.