I have become increasingly interested in the surface preparation and eventual quality of the painted upon surface. I have through experience realised that the end result is very dependant upon what lies beneath, the absorbency, or lack of it and the texture offer an amazingly wide variety of possibilities. The Immediacy of Paint Symposium talked about surface a lot but the examples given were actually crude or devoid of any sophistication in terms of surface. When I recall the experience of the surfaces I saw in the Prado, the Velasquez and the Black Goya, I am impressed to attempt their excellence, and not that of most modern painters.
My use of aluminium as a base to paint allowed me a small exercise in using a metal surface. The preparation of the satellite dishes required many layers of gesso, which resulted in a very pleasing finish to paint upon, silky yet slightly slippery.
My large paintings had many layers of underpainting to create a subtle shimmer and complexity between the colours, and avoiding a simple look. The painting may appear to have completely covered the underpainting but the effect brought about is worth the effort.
Odd Nerdrum, whose work I saw in person in California has an astounding materiality and colour vibrance, I am still trying to imitate it.
The piece above, is a painting I did of Bigallo Monastery, and was explicitly trying to get the textural colour vibration of an Odd Nerdrum.
Freud and Auerbach both work in very strong textural manners, but for me the texture is either overdone, or in the case of Freud instead of helping describe the form actually fight it. I was a great fan of Freud, and upon visiting retrospective found myself dissappointed. I was sorry only to see a print of Glenn Brown's work when he visited, so I can't really comment. It seems something of a trick to make paint appear thick, when it's thin, but his work has undoubted appeal.
My painting "The Aetheist" was built upon the experience of the monastery painting, with a lower vibrance because I knew I was going to add gold leaf lines to the work.
The preparation on undersurface. The stuff. The meaning of the stuff. The visual experience. The tactile surface, the perceived surface. through the surface. light and it's action. Vibrance, mixing. Van Dyke, tears.
Experiments with slime, and cold porcelain, and other stuffs. Balloons as squeezed tubes.
Venetian Plaster, other stuff.
What does it mean for me, how can I be affected, what new considerations must I make? Near Beauty, Far beauty. A rich experience for the viewer. The experience of texture, describing, feeling familiar understandable readable. Far beauty, from across the room, Notan, narrative, emotional colour,visual pleasure, eyepath.