The lectures have been a great success. There is obviously an interest in the relation between Oriental painting and Western painting. The development and the look of paintings in China and Japan, which was determined by indigenous perceptions of time and space, was catalytic in determining new directions in painting in Europe at the birth of 'Modernism'. However, it's interesting that visual ideas from the east served a very different purpose in the west from that which originally drove them.
A brief respite from lectures, I am now on to new paintings at the studio. Below is 'Gate' with gold pearlescent pigment activating the space and holding light.
Upcoming Lecture: Manet, Van Gogh and Japan. March 16th, 10.30am. Church House, St. Philips and St. James Church, 60 Painswick Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham. GL50 2DL.
Japanese art had an enormous impact on the way painting developed in the latter half of the 19th century. In this lecture we look at how Japanese art was catalytic in new perceptions of space, composition, colour, form and mark and how its profound influence on the direction of painting at this time.
At the recent solo exhibition at Ceiling Space Gallery in Chongqing, sponsored by the British Council, I was asked to give a technical demonstration at the VIP opening. This was at the request of the gallery owner, who said that Chinese people would be intrigued. It would be very unusual to be asked to do this at an opening in the UK or Europe, but in China, 'oil' painting is still seen by many as an exotic Western import. It was an interesting evening, and questions were raised as to the contribution that layering, surfaces and textures can make to the reading and feeling of a painting. Such issues are peculiar to the way western painting developed, and were intriguing to my Chinese audience.
The next studio I moved to is in the same building. It was a little smaller, but the atmosphere was entirely conducive to the tenor of my paintings. The luminous shadows and shifting intangibilities seem weighted against the harsh glitter of certainties. Studio space and paintings became as one. Wonderful, amidst the super-fast development in Chongqing. The textures and patina of two Chinas.
I held an open studio in Huang Jue Ping, Chongqing, soon after I moved in. Magnificent space, impossible to afford in London. But China.... I invited local artists, people from the British Council etc. It helped to establish my presence there, get to know some local luminaries and to let people know what I do. The roof fell in about two years after moving in, but I had already just moved out!!! I missed this disaster by only five days. I was there from autumn 2009 to 2011.