Notes from the studio

Art blog by Catherine Gregory


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What’s on the floor…

last week on my studio floor

last week on my studio floor

Well – it’s been a while…no posting but lots of painting. I think I fall (frequently!) into the ‘perfect post’ trap and end up not posting as of course nothing is perfect! So I will jump in with what I have and am up to right now…

So this is what is going on in my studio. A couple of floor shots of a painting using household paint and raw pigments. I received a pack of 50 sheets of grey card which is great for painting on and a nice size; 100cm x 70 cm which in inches is….39″x 27″. Ok – will try to keep (commit!!) to some sort of post schedule and loose that poisonous perfectionist bug!

Just wondering – should I loose the trowel, the garden hand digger on the left? I thought it was too strong and was all lined up to reduce it’s weight and go over with a pinky color, but now thinking I am fussing for nothing – Any thoughts on this would be very welcome!

 

 


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Stack of 75 moving along…

stack progress

wooden backing

I have been working on and off this side project for a few months now (see first post here) . This is a stack of about 75 cards measuring 12cm x12cm, which is about 4 1/2 inches square. My aim is simply to get to the end of these 75 pieces, and create a series of small formats.

During this time they have been a great way to warm up in the studio. For half an hour or so I just work through them using whatever paint or medium I have. I also left them alone for long spells, several weeks (months?) which gave me enough time to return with fresh eyes. My main focus was to maintain a completely open mind in order to be able to respond spontaneously.

When I first cut these cards, I had expected to just churn out a lovely matching series to present in tidy little groups!! I also wanted them to be abstract, and all painted with the same range of medium. Well – the further I got along the more obvious it was that I had little control over how the images came together. There seemed to be a range of dominant shapes that often came through, which I suppose is what makes up my visual language. Also these shapes became something; they seemed to be part of a story and I didn’t seem to be able to choose to create only abstract images. I liked the fact that with such a small format, painting over and re-constructing the image was no big deal, so I wasn’t holding onto stuff that wasn’t working just because it took a long time to paint. Also the fact there were so many stopped me from being precious over one image. I noticed too that when I became tired, I found I would ‘decide’ the result… at which point the image became dull and lifeless, and would get completely worked over the next time. So, after a few of these forced sessions which only resulted in a whole load that needed re-doing, I learned that as soon as I got tired I needed to stop. Also that forcing images to be finished was pointless and counterproductive.

So far about 35 are complete. Another 20 are ready to be stuck on the wooden backing. By doing this mounting process it really helps me to see if they are complete or not. And the rest need to reach completion…


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Exhibition FRANK Gallery NC – June 9th

EBLAST JUNE (2)

 

I am very excited to be included in this exhibition in the FRANK Gallery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Unfortunately I am unable to go as I live in France, but remain very hopeful that one day I will make it over there. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has made this possible and helped my paintings reach these walls! So – if you happen to be anywhere around Chapel Hill, and have a moment to spare, please stop by and visit.


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Big pile – small cards

pile

DSC_1011

 

Here is a pile of card pieces that I am determined to get through. I am treating this as a sort of brain storming exercise. I just take the one on the top and add something, whatever it may be in response to what I see on the card. They feel a bit like flash cards. There are so many, and truthfully I am finding it difficult to cope with this small mass… but I am trying to take on this challenge. The size is very small (12cm x 12cm) which feels really cramped as recently I have been working on large formats. I don’t really know why I am so set on making them ALL reach the ‘end’, as I don’t even know when this point is reached. But I do know that I want to find out. I want to know what is on the other side. I have this idea that going through this process will show me something that I need to find out… if I can just keep with it!

 


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Baking trio

Baking trio

 

80cm x 40cm mixed media on canvas.

These three I finished last week. They are the results so far of an idea I have been wanting to work on for a while. I had begun in this post and this post as a series of sketchbook drawings which I then began to put onto canvas but then things went wrong. What I did wrong was to collage onto freely cut canvas; primed but not on a stretcher. It then all began to get mishapen due to the glue and then I finally knocked a glass of water over the lot (as I was working on a table) which I didn’t see straight away and that did for what was left. Start again!

However due to how life seems to unravel, the idea got put aside for a few months. But these last few weeks gave me a fresh oportunity to get back to this theme as I had to complete a load of work for an exhibition stand for last weekend. So, as I had these 3 canvasses I decided to put some of these baking ideas to play.

I have used a layering process of collage, pigments and hand printed tissue, and the drawn lines using a compressed charcoal pencil.