Art and Dreams
I have just produced a small batch of paintings for the Russell Gallery to take to the soon upcoming Battersea Spring Art Fair in London and have been asked to write a few words. It is a good excuse to double up and create a new blog entry. It is about time! So here goes. I will try to be brief.
Some prefer to set out with an idea in mind and the outcome is fixed before the artist begins. I don’t know what my paintings are about until I sit down to reflect upon what has happened. It is only after the event that that I come to see what these pictures are describing. One knows the process and we have played this game before, but the outcome is never assured.
Like dreams, these stories come in whispers that are easily forgotten. They need to be treated and handled with tenderness if their fragmented and elusive details are not to be lost before they gel into a coherent narrative.
It is only in looking back the I can see how the weather, the trees, the animals in the landscape, have all been part of my recent experience. Some of this experience consists of a fully conscious awareness of my physical surroundings. Some of it is conjured from the narrative of my dreams. These dreams run like a parallel story to my waking reality. The paintings are not literal illustrations of these dreams, but they have the same vibe and I think they tell the same story.
Similarly, the variations in the weather that I have observed while making these pictures are an essential part of the narrative. The colours reflect the changing of the seasons. As I write, we are in the grips of a red weather warning. Leaves and loose branches are being stripped from the trees and the dogs are happy to stay indoors. Then the weather passes and the sky is still, crisp and blue. These are all moments which somehow go together to make a story.
I try to write a narrative about each piece, and in this process I find that new things are revealed to me. I say to myself: ‘That’s where I was…’ . It is a revelatory experience.
The Battersea London Spring Art Fair runs from the 10th to the 13th of March 2022.