I’ve updated my website with some new works from the past few months you can see a selection below with more on www.andywicks.co.uk
This month has seen the studio finally become settled, after much work we’ve finally got the space as we want it and I’ve been making up for lost time by getting lots of new things off the ground. Since moving in Alan and I have built walls, taken down another (finding windows and a dead pigeon in the process!) made a kitchen, found a sofa, painted floors & walls, built shelves and storage and capped it off by celebrating with a busy studio warming party.
Below are a few shots of the various things I’ve been up to –
Here are a couple of new paintings completed near the end of my time at the Florence Trust. These both featured in the end of Residency summer show which finished on Monday (18th July). A few more new pieces can be found on my website along with these, click here to view them. I’ll be writing about the exhibition and thoughts on my time at The Florence Trust soon.
Here’s a first glimpse at some pieces I’ve been working on over the last few months, continuing my body of work of Thames mooring constructions. While I always try and keep on top of documenting new work, my main motivation for getting these shot now is that I have to select a couple of images this week for the forthcoming Florence Trust catalogue (due to be printed to co-inside with the summer show 8th – 18th July). I have a good idea of which images i’m going to choose but will confirm later this week, meanwhile we also have a visit from writer Colin Perry next week who is going to be writing the catalogue essay and a short piece on each of the residency artists work. Things are about to get busy!
I was sorting through a heap of old artwork from my school days recently which have been left in the loft at my mums house for the last 10 years. I was amazed by how much work there was and the number of sketch books I got through in a 4 year period (GCSE to A Level). I must have been getting through sketch books in a matter of weeks, where as now it takes me years sometimes to fill one as its not really the way I work. Most of what I found went straight into the bin but I decided to keep a few books and works on paper which had something about them. We took a whole car load of old canvases, books and works on paper to the dump and in the age of recycling its harder than you think to throw away a stretched canvas when you have separate bins for wood, fabric, paper etc. In fact probably against the better judgement of some friendly workers they volunteered to strip the canvases down (rather them that me), but lets just hope those pieces don’t come back to haunt me at auction one day!
Here are a couple of pieces I kept which are from 2001 when I was 17 in the first year of my A-levels. I was surprised that the subject matter and colours are not too distant to my work now, both look at the built environment in concrete and muddy tones especially areas around London, the Thames and Southbank. These were from a series exploring the city and in particular stair wells and well routes trodden on a journey around the city (such as the station platform).
I was intending to upload a few images of the grounds of current work in progress before I worked over the top, I was going to write how they are reminiscent of John Martin’s swirling apocalyptic sky’s. That was a couple of weeks ago and the thought past, that is until I saw an article on Martin’s (Guardian 4th March 2011) recently opened survey at the Laing Art Gallery is Newcastle.
So here saved from that huge blog in the sky are the intended images –
Usually created in a single sitting these grounds are made from a careful mix of a resin medium, thinned oil paints and thinners. Tipped and poured the paint dissipates into the resin, creating glitches as the paint moves to find space to settle. Some areas show through as pure paint, some as pure resin showing the raw canvas beneath while others show a combination with paint sunk into the resin as if submerged in water.
I hope to go to Newcastle to see the John Martin before it closes in June, its a great city and not only is there the Laing and the Baltic but also Workplace Gallery (in Gateshead) which is well worth a visit. If you go between 5-26 May make sure you visit Fade Away at Gallery North touring from Transition and featuring my painting “Karl”.
I’ve recently had my new works photographed and have uploaded them to my website as an example of what i’ve been up to over the last few months. It was great to work with a photographer with all the equipment and a proper studio and the results are far superior to anything I’ve ever been able to do myself. For your chance to see them in the flesh make sure you come along to the Florence Trust Open Studio 21 – 23rd January.
More images available on www.andywicks.co.uk
Update on the small paintings I’ve been working on since the new year (mentioned HERE). Each has been approached differently with the only constraint being a pink base coat. I brought myself a selection of 20 Michael Harding oil tubes over Christmas (££), the first time I’ve tried out quality paints and so far so good, the colours are much more vivid than I’m used to due to a higher pigment/oil ratio compared with cheaper student quality paints. Also with a wider range of colours my palette has expanded considerably, something I’m willing to do but conscious of keeping more regular darker tones in the mix. More to follow..
New Year – New paintings underway. With ULTRAMEGAOK coming down at the end of December and Odette completed for Tag @ Brown which opens this Thursday, all the pieces I have been working on have now been completed, while the studio certainly isn’t empty I always like to have something on the go. Over Christmas I’ve stretched up 10 canvas 25.4 x 35.5 cm to get going on for the new year, I’ve always found it hard to work on a primed canvas, with my thinned oil dripped background I usually apply a layer to tint the canvas and give some flow and texture to the future painting. I much prefer to speedily cover the primed canvas rather than start painting directly on to it which can often come across as muddy – particularly with the brown tones I use.
With some of the large architectural pieces from last year I used a thick dark black/brown mix on the sides as a border with a thinned colour in the same tone on the face, the dark tone gave the paintings a depth of ground with any additional application of paint lightening the composition. These 10 pieces currently in progress are stretched with a primed polyester which is very smooth and bright white, for a while I’ve been thinking about using brighter coloured grounds which would work particularly well with the bright white primer. The colour I’ve mixed up is a baby pink, a total opposite to my usual, with each canvas I tried a different type of application from thinned dripped ground, splatted, pooled and thicker applications. Since the photo was taken I’ve been working the pink into the background with a dark more usual palette over the top, letting the warmth work more subtly.
This sort of bright palette reminds me of Thomas Scheibitz’s excellent exhibition at Camden Art Centre in 2008, he uses lots bright oranges and pinks amongst darker colours in his large scale paintings and works on paper.