Another Leap of Faith

Fri 18thJuly 2003 @ 10:06:31 GMT 2003
I've put two paintings up for selection by the committee/curators of the 81st Summer Exhibition of the Westward Ho! And Bideford Art Society at The Burton Art Gallery.

The paintings I am submitting follow traditional themes and principles used in conventional (20th century?) painting. I have used Oil, Acrylic, emulsion, gloss and enamel paints and have experimented with the dye from beetroot. The main theme for the Winter exhibition was Landscape and Seascape, this time I have looked at the genre of flower painting....colour plates of specimens in groups or as individuals.


oClick to enlarge

Study for:

'These are The Flowers I Forgot to Give My Wife on Her Birthday'
Acrylic and oil paint (over a Beetroot wash) on canvas. Painted July 2003


Sat 19th July 2003 @ 00:16:57 GMT 2003

There were, it appeared, hundreds of paintings up for selection......all better than mine....maybe? Failure is something that as always fascinated me. Doubt is a feeling I very rarely experince1. There is a very fine line between creating something that is truly brilliant and something that is crap. A single line or mark can tip the balance. The sad thing is....I'm not sure I can face rejection.

The painting left was painted from memory.

The Rejected

The first painting is titled 'These are the Flowers I Forgot to give to my Wife on her Birthday'. I have a passion for beetroot and have 'beetroot feasts' at home where selected people are invited to eat as much freshly boiled beetroot (from my father's garden) as possible. The liquor that is left in the pan is a rich dense dark magenta which when mixed with an acrylic medium is a perfect transparent wash. There are other interesting by products of eating vast quantities of beetroot, however I have not thought of a process which could utilize this waste.


'These are The Flowers I Forgot to Give My Wife on Her Birthday'
Acrylic and oil paint (over a Beetroot wash) on canvas. Painted July 2003


The second painting I entered was called 'The Weir'. This is a memory of a place I often went to.

The Bridge' at Topsham was a favorite watering hole 25 years ago.....I was a student at Exeter College of Art. Fellow students, punks and lovers sat watching the salmon queue up.....struggling against the current, to get over this small obstacle. Continuing up stream to their spawning ground. After several pints of 'Old Peculiar' we would force our way through the holiday traffic, heading towards our own fertile beds.... ideas, dreams and bodies.

Lovers in the darkness groping for the dark, hands first finding spaces, then they find their mark.

Click for another view

'The Weir' Acrylic and oil paint on canvas. Painted June 2003

Both paintings were accepted and displayed. There was a very strong entry for this exhibition and there were some good exhibits.




The Burton Art Gallery

These paintings were painted in my office in Bromsgrove and @ Wollacombe.

My paintings have become Schizophrenic; I can switch from one 'style' of painting to another. Why is it frowned upon to switch from style to style? What is the point of pursuing a singular line of practice to be trapped in a singular dogma? Painting can be naïve in its conception and look dated and out of place in the 21st century. New materials, new ideas? Painting pretends to be modern, hiding in its contemporary looks good in a white room, shouting out false modernity lying about its authenticity and originality. There isn't an original thought out there.

Recent Work


Photographs taken by Jacob Bright.

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© 2003

1 I was diagnosed by a Doctor friend as having an infection....this explained my headaches, my self doubt was a physical reaction not a mental one.

2 This is taken from a diary I wrote in 1979.