This year's Colchester and Tendring Open Studios was really well attended - thank you if you came over and thanks to Peter Jones for organising it again this year. I decided to show almost entirely drawing and work in progress.
Had a really interesting discussions with Jenny and David about the landscape work, the new stuff from Normandy and the older stuff from Alaska and the Thames estuary.
This continued by email and David said something about the landscapes that "speak". This is a really interesting idea. Here's what I thought about that :
If artists do our job properly then people will respond to what we do, it's as simple as that. I really dislike the idea that people have to be 'arty' to respond to art. People just have to spend the time, pay the attention. They just have to look and feel.
I was really touched that David thought the buildings speak because that was one of my main intentions. I'm not really interested in the physical appearance of the buildings or landscapes as such, but in their capacity to speak about the people who made and used them. Those coastal defences speak about a whole episode of human history sinking beneath the brambles. In that way all the landscape work is just big, collective portraits ..
Also had a really interesting discussion with Pam, Dave and Josh about the portraits. I really like it when people understand the difference between a persons appearance (snapshots, moments in isolation) and their likeness (what stays in our memory about them, the way we recognise them from thousands of others in a crowd).
I really want to get on with Andrew's portrait but am not quite feeling brave enough to do very little to it. At the moment the underdrawing and the wash has a real presence that could so easily get lost under claggy paint.
Finally there's a really interesting show coming up at the Peppermint SHED. Work by Richard Pinkney and Sarah Muzira. Opening on Sat 18 Oct - for details and to get on the mailing list contact the gallery Peppermint SHED