Having had a few health problems over the previous two years my studio practice has not been straightforward and there have been too many interruptions to the flow. Despite this I have managed to produce a small but consistent body of work in pursuit of my primary interest in abstract, colour field paintings using a limited palette of acrylic earth colours, mainly umber and sienna with admixtures of primary hues and black and white. The format is invariably a ready- made square cotton duck canvas usually 1 metre or 70cm. I am still using roller, brush, sponge etc. allowing accidental effects to occur as the paint is applied.
When I am in the process of making images, I am mindful of certain types of classical music (mostly Baroque) and modern jazz, I also have a feeling or correspondence with my other activities which are walking and yoga.
I am pleased to be able to say that my health at present is allowing me to participate in all these activities with enthusiasm and vigour and I am looking forward to continuing to have a regular studio practice and to exhibiting work in the coming year.
I welcome enquiries and would be pleased to see visitors who may be interested in coming to the studio to chat and see my work.
8th January ‘23
Well, we are in lockdown again but, as someone recently said to me, it seems to be good for ‘creatives’ like us (actually I have just remembered it was in a conversation with a local artist and friend Ruth Medhurst who I met briefly on a walk yesterday in Hinckley).
It has been a glorious summer and I have been fortunate to have enjoyed many and frequent local walks in the urban and rural landscapes in this part of Leicestershire. This week I walked in Bradgate Park where I had previously run a drawing project called ‘Walking and Drawing: Dejeuner sur l’herbe’ (we all brought a packed lunch to share!). This project produced some very lively and explorative drawings but was thought by some, as I recall, to have far more walking than drawing for their taste!
Art wise I have enjoyed visiting two exhibitions in Birmingham, one at a small gallery in Great Tindall Street, T Street Gallery, set up and managed by a very resourceful and enterprising young gallerist Sevven Kucuk. This show was a series of small oil paintings by Carolyn Blake who is enjoying deserved success with this delightful and thought-provoking show and having had a painting accepted and showing in the current RA Summer Show. The second exhibition was at the Ikon Gallery by the artist Kristof Kintera follow the link to view the show online (an exciting and innovative artist in my opinion).
Over recent weeks I have been fortunate to have established a daily routine of yoga, walking and studio practice. All of which I find mutually beneficial to a feeling of wellbeing and contentment.
Looking back at my own practice I have begun to wonder why I called time on the ‘Haiku’ series (which became interrupted by the lockdown but the seeds of doubt had already been sown by a rejection of these by the panel for the previous RA Summer Show). I now intend to revisit the aims I had in mind when approaching the series, those of a more ‘expressionist’ handling of paint and of a more random placing of ‘areas of action’ and a wider use of implements for mark making.
This website, thanks to Dave Green, now has a link to my Instagram account and has allowed for a more spontaneous and current use of the found image which I record when out on my walks. May I wish you all well in your own creative practices.
Pete 16 November ‘20
Looking back on a glorious summer and remembering highlights such as the re-gathering of work of some old colleagues and fellow exhibitors at the ‘Ikon Artists of the Sixties’ show at the Medicine Bakery Gallery in July at the old RBSA premises on New Street, Birmingham. Good to meet again and catch up with Dinah Prentice and Jess Bruton, both co- founders of the Ikon Gallery in the early sixties.
My sculpture, the yellow and white, 4ft. ‘ Squares’ of 1967 (re-constructed in 2004), seen against the dynamic grid paintings of David Prentice, looked fresh and strong and I was most pleased to be showing in such impressive company in an historic gallery space in the centre of town. The evening was very well attended and thoroughly enjoyed.
During this last few months I have enjoyed collaborating with Jacqui Gallon who continues to work tirelessly and enthusiastically at her own practice and in the initiation and running of projects and workshops. Notable amongst these was the ‘Down to Earth’ project held in the church hall of St Mary’s in Nanpantan, near Loughborough, in which I was pleased to be a participant. An exhibition of this group work is to be held at the church hall this week, 22/23 and 24th November, which includes some of my pieces developed later with the Giclee print process which is quite new to me.
In my studio I have been working on a number of studies for painting using drawings made by using a range of wooden implements (sticks, twigs etc.) and Indian ink which have been based on my experience of visiting a nature or wildlife reserve near Coventry called Brandon Marsh. These studies continue to be involved with my ongoing interest in natural elements expressed through gesture and accidental effect. This way of working was first investigated in the ‘Haiku’ series a year or two before and shown at the Lightbox Gallery in Leicester.
In early November I was able to see the Anni Albers show at the Tate Modern and to pay homage, again, to the large late Rothko’s and to see, once more, the iconic large Monet painting of water lillies.
20 November ’18