Own research: John Greenwood

Updated on 25 March 2017 (Harvard referencing and some content).

14 January 2017. Needing a short break from my own Part 5 attempts at abstraction (doubting whether I should be calling my results that), I went to have a look at the “Turps Banana” website, which my tutor had recommended earlier in the course and which I could not persuade myself to subscribe to as yet. I don’t feel confident enough yet to draw useful information from the presented art and artists. However, on the website I was introduced to the intriguing and weird work of John Greenwood (1959, UK) ((Turps Banana, 2016), whose way of thinking comes close to my own but at an immensely higher level of expertise and concentration (Greenwood, n.d.). In approach he is likened to Hieronymus Bosch, whose ideas I also feel quite at home with. In contrast to Bosch’s dark medieval messages, Greenwood’s absurd creatures, which remind me of what you get when applying electron microscopy to the tiniest living things, appear totally at ease in their own crowded, glittering world, they do not seem to mind being put in boxes not much larger in size than their bodies (and observation I feel is in contrast to the claustrophobia mentioned in the article presented on Greenwood’s website (Woodley, 2016).
The paintings are great fun to explore, full of beautifully executed detail. I could get lost in them.

References:

Greenwood, J. (n.d.) Gallery. Large Paintings [image collection] [online]. John Greenwood. Available at: http://johngreenwoodartist.com/section/389781_Large_Paintings.html [Accessed 14 January 2017]

Turps Banana (2016) John Greenwood | A Sad Miracle [online]. Turps Banana, London. Available at: http://turpsbanana.com/gallery/31/john-greenwood-a-sad-miracle [Accessed 14 January 2017]

Woodley, F. (2016) John Greenwood [online]. John Greenwood, September 2016. Available at: http://johngreenwoodartist.com/home.html [Accessed 14 January 2017]

Part 1, project 1, exercise 1b: Getting to know your brushes – landscape from memory

Post updated on 18 February 2017 (Harvard referencing).

15 February, 2016. Last year I had a dream, in which I was flying, for the first time since my childhood. It was an incredibly vivid, colourful, 3D experience. I flew over a rocky ridge made up of Mars-coloured giant blocks. The ridge was bordered on the left side by a savannah-like landscape and dropped off to the right. It travelled more or less up to the horizon, where on its farthest outcrop there sat a giant, Mars-coloured chanterelle with two window-like openings. This is the landscape I have been planning to paint since the dream and I will take the opportunity to make a first sketch for this exercise (see Fig. 1 below):

4_Chanterelle_kl_15022016
Figure 1. My dream chanterelle

I found it relatively difficult to capture a true likeness of my dream image, since it was only a second long at the time, during which I flew over the landscape at high speed. On the other hand I was free to fill the gaps with whatever my imagination came up with. I had lots of weird ideas reminding me of Hieronymus Bosch (The Netherlands, 1450 – 1516), whose incredibly imaginative work I love and whose 500 year anniversary is celebrated this year (National Gallery of Art, 2017). The most well-known of this works is probably “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (Fig. 2):

Jheronimus_Bosch_Garden_kl
Figure 2. Hieronymus Bosch, “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, oil on panel, ca. 1480-1505, source: Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450-1516) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

16 February, 2016. I decided, however, to leave the idea of a more extended version of my above sketch for later in the course, when my skills have improved.
In the above, in order to continue the experience gained in the mark-making experiment I tried to make use of most types of brushmark, except for the footprint-like marks often used for foliage, which I personally do not like for the evenness of the result. For me, most mark-making and the interaction with its results has been more or less intuitive so far, but I will start making a habit of observing closely and learning how to best translate into my personal painting language the effects of different marks, in particular by studying and comparing the ways of contemporary artists before attempting an exercise.
So, off to painting a piece of fruit next.

References:

  1. National Gallery of Art (2017) ‘Bosch, Hieronymus. Biography’ [online]. National Gallery of Art, Collection, Artists 17 Feb. Available at http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/artist-info.986.html [Accessed 17 February]