I’ve decided to start a blog series on what inspires me in this world. What follows is my first go at this. I see this being slightly different in subsequent posts than what’s below, but this is where we begin.
When I began my art career, I was working in the two mediums of painting and photography. I love the process of both of these. Painting with oils gives you a lot of time to work to make the paint say what you want it to. It’s very much similar to working in a darkroom exposing the image onto paper. Dodging, burning working the image in every spot to make it just so. Even the action of changing pixels on the computer is the same. (The best Â – absolute best – part of working digitally is that I no longer have to contend with dust. Ever!)
To this end, I have always sought ways to combine the actions of painting and photographing. For my university exit show I produced a body of work in which I had made my own negatives and taken portraits. I thickly coated emulsion on old, cleared negative sheets and made long exposure portraits. It was a fun process, but quite expensive and time consuming. The results were great. It was the first time I felt that I had accomplished my goal of integrating photography and painting. In that, it was a success and I was happy about it. I’ve put an example of this work at the bottom of this article.
One of my two most favorite painters is Gerhard Richter. He has no real peer in his work. Though he has greatly inspired later generations. To me, his soft paintings are the visual equivalent to my favorite type of music, shoegazer. His work combines the soft dreamy with the loose fuzziness. I realise that these are vague terms and aren’t necessarily applicable to every piece. This is just an analysis of how my brain interprets what I see, hear and feel and how that translates into what I do with that information artistically. I think this all relates to my larger fascination with German Expressionism and Romanticism at large. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the same. It’s a very beautiful ugliness.
This does not necessarily translate into the art I produce, but it’s at the heart of what drives me to produce art. I would say that, of all the work in my catalogue, it best relates to Notions of Eden and the aforementioned portrait series.