Art is about being here now. So to understand an artist the question you would ask is “Where are you?”
Many leave the city and its traps. I did.  Van Gogh left for the fields of Arles, Jackson Pollock for Long Island so like his native Wyoming. Patrick Heron lived high in his Cornish Eagles Nest. In Devon, Gillian Ayres is far from the beaten track.

 

The country is deeply embedded in their paintings. Oscar Wilde thought we were all lying in the gutter but only in the country can you look up in the night and see the entire Milky Way.

Good abstract painting has always been rich in allusion and figuration. If not, it’s nothing.
It comes through in brushwork which also describes the figure of the artist. In that sense it describes us all and yet with each touch of the brush it’s astonishingly personal. It’s also rich in music, philosophy and the ache of pleasure.

I lay my colour down like a guitar riff and hope it will live out there like some gorgeous storm cloud or Mexican wave.

If its not deeply romantic then why bother?
I wonder what a painting should do. I think it should seduce you. I think it should point you to the sublime and back to the garden, the “Autumn Rhythm”, the starry, “Starry Night”.

 

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