–the surface is a container for the things that you may do to it.
–each action (may react to existing surface but) is a new separate action.
–taken together they form a narrative, in the sense that each action follows another, like frames in a film follow one another, each new action projected upon the next, and unlike film in that the traces of each frame is not transitory as light.
–any treatment of the surface is OK – it may be altered by masking, extensions… the extent of the container is part of the narrative, its identification is the location for work, for painting.
–you do something and then you do something else. The image is what is left to see at the conclusion of every action, and the “painting”… when you don’t want to or cannot see an additional step to take forward (when the narrative is over)
–every step should be taken free from the demands of a preconceived image, at any point a turn in direction must be possible, and all options open
Looking into the possibility of mixing powdered charcoal with powdered wax and using as a drawing medium, and then fixing the drawing by heating the wax until it fuses with the support. Initial experiments with wax in particles about the size of corn meal not entirely successful. The carbon binds to the wax well, but the particles are too coarse to manipulate in the way that I imagine.
I was reading recently about the painter Euan Uglow and his early training at the Slade school with William Coldstream. Unfamiliar with Coldstream’s work, I was surprised to discover how completely and faithfully Uglow adopted and stayed with his teacher’s process and basic approach to painting, which consists of a process of constant measurement of the subject and continual adjustment of the image to bring the two it into as close an alignment as possible.
Working from life is a process of perceptual observation, commitment to memory, and then, after some amount of loss of the memory and possibly invention, a transfer of the image to form in some media, paint, clay, whatever.
It is striking that both Uglow’s working process, and so career, is built on a desire to obsessively focus on a fixed set of elements. Perhaps simply as a way of moving forward, it was useful to him to, rather than base his process on experimentation and imagination, do the reverse, and drastically exclude options.
Look at the work as an object in the interior space it occupies. What presence does it have in relation to the room and to other objects there?
A line relates to other lines in the page and to the edge of the page. How does it relate to the space beyond the edge of the plane?