T U B E S
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“This issue will be the last ‘TUBES’ that will be free on line.
As much as TUBES wanted to keep the digital version free to read on
line it’s a sad fact that after 3 years Tubes can no longer
prolong subsidising the free version of the mag. Single and Annual
subscribers for the printed magazine and the on line mag are most
welcomed....many thanks for your past readership.” Denis
Hello and welcome to painters TUBES magazine.
This is our 13th issue of TUBES, unlucky for some? -
Not really, we don’t don’t believe in luck here at painters
TUBES magazine or at painters TUBES Artists
Showcase Gallery. We make our own luck.
What we do believe in is Artists and painting as an Art Form.
And in this issue there are some great artists and some super
original paintings for you view - And of course some really
engaging articles and special essays, with a few strong
opinions, all wrapped up in a beautifully designed magazine and
a with a touch of art history included for good measure,
expanding peoples knowledge and enjoyment- as is usual with
painters Tubes magazine.
We have a few more new writers in this issue, a very warm
welcome to Gregory Evans, an American artist based in France, who joins us as a regular
article writer. And our very own Marianne Arnberg who has narrated her take take on
the Russell Howarth interview, one that I was honoured to have carried out last year on
behalf of the magazine. TUBES have also included some of great photographs
Marianne took during the extensive time we spent with a legend of a painter.
These photographs are exclusive and most of them have not been published before.
And Paul Constantine, an American born Greek author who splits his time between
Europe and the USA. He is a specialists art writer who has contributed with a rather good
and concise history of the Barbizon School and it’s influences on ‘Plein Air’ painting.
To support that article I have written my own observations (as a painter) on the term
‘plein-air’ what it means and if it is still relevant to use that phrase today to describe
paintings. I’m sure many of you will disagree with my conclusions... talking about being
disagreeable.....Spike the latest grumpy-old art critic is swanning about Europe mainland
at the moment, so he will not be appearing in this issue, but he will be back soon.
I do hope you enjoy issue #13 - and as always thank you for your continued support
from me on behalf of all the team at painters TUBES [Sweden & UK].
Denis Taylor, Editor in Chief painters Tubes magazine. CEO of Studio 5 Sweden.
issue #13 - 2019©paintersTUBES magazine
painters TUBES magazine ©2016-2019 all material is copyright of Studio 5 Sweden & painters tubes.com
All images and all art shown is © of their creator carrying the global creator copyrights [2016-2019].
All articles/covers/pages are ©painters TUBES magazine - Reproduction of any material in TUBES
magazine is strictly forbidden. Pirates & Thieves will be prosecuted in a court of law and reported to Google
for legal web removal under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (Global Law). info: support/google.com
all photography ©Marianne Arnberg Taylor ©2018 M. Arnberg-Taylor & painters TUBES magazine©2019
‘from another perspective’
with exclusive photographs and narrative
by Marianne Arnberg. Edited by Denis Taylor
painters TUBES magazine featured the artist Russell Howard in 2017. At that time the Editor interviewed and wrote the
feature on the artist. The editor was accompanied by TUBES sub-editor and photographer Marianne Arnberg on the
visit to Howard Russel’s home. Marianne narrated her own observations about the artists from her perspective and has
provided the opportunity for TUBES to show our reader the many unpublished photographs that she took that during the
course of the interview in 2018.
from another perspective..by Marianne Arnberg
(edited by Denis Taylor)
We travelled to Oldham a town to the North East of Manchester by the new tram system on a grey and rainy day. As
a well travelled Swedish woman it was interesting to actually see the environment of a town that was, at one time, a
wealthy part of the North West of England, and yet despite that historic wealth, the area seemed to have been overlooked
for generations by successive UK’s government - the consequences of which were visibly evident. Although it has to be
said that the relatively new tram system seems to have be having a positive effect on the Town where the prospective redevelopment
programs could be witnessed by the hoardings that surrounded the old buildings. My observations of this
environment were to become important when looking and understanding the subject matter and the paintings of the artist
The terraced home of Russell is located in quite a nice area with a public park nearby, it was clear to me (and confirmed
by the editor) that this particular part of Oldham was, at one time, an area where middle management or skilled workers
provided the backbone of the Victorian era’s industrial power house and lasted up to the late 1960’s before the Margaret
Thatcher ‘English Renaissance & Re-positioning’ of the society and destruction of the heavy industry, to keep in tune with
the modern western worlds switch-over to ‘services’ based corporations and banking.
The artist took a little time to answer the door of the neat terraced house, apparently he was expecting the Editor and the
TUBES photographer (me) - He welcomed us and invited us in through a corridor that led to his sitting room. He wore a
shirt and casual shirt with trousers that were held up by braces. What was a surprise was that he was barefooted - It is not
unusual (in Sweden) for people not to wear their shoes inside a home in winter, and guests are provided with ‘slippers’ -
but Russells’ bare feet style- seemed to be by choice,
This gave me an immediate impression that Russel was truly an artist of quite independent thought.
all work shown is ©Russell Howarth - Article and images ©painters TUBES magazine
all work shown is ©Russell Howarth - Article and images ©painters TUBES magazine
As the editor was engrossed in talking to Russell,
I was able to continue my observations of his
living environment - it was neat and tidy -
His wider connection to the outside world being
an old standard [British Telecom] dial-up type
of phone. There were very few actual paintings
on the walls of his sitting room, the decoration
of which seemed to hark back the 1950’s -
especially the wonderful chamfered shaped
mirror on the back wall - As the editor’s chat
lengthened it was clear to me that the artist really
didn’t care much about talking about himself
- what he had done and what he had achieved.
In Sweden this ‘humility’ is seen as the correct
and polite way to conduct oneself in company,
as apposed to self-promotion or bragging about
this or that, or overly egocentric about personal
prowess, which is viewed as very bad manners.
The pauses in conversations and indeed
sometimes the absolute silences, were only
broken by Russell’s memories of the past,
particularly those of his parents and of the
various (English) renown painters who visited
the Saddleworth art group to give talks on art,
a group that Russell had been a life long member.
(from 1951 onwards).
He was quite dismissive of these painters such as the well know ‘names’ such as Theodore
Major, as he thought they were ‘full of themselves’ and in their talks to the group tried to tell
the artists [who attended these lectures or talks] to the Saqddleworth Art Group, how to paint
and how not to paint. I too was unimpressed by these names, (because I don’t know them or
if I did, I wasn’t that impressed with their Art).
I was however, fascinated by the beautiful woven rugs and the fabulous design on the
wallpaper in the artists home. Russel seems to have kept the house exactly as it was from the
days when his parents were alive and he was child. The actual ‘memento’s’ were limited, it
was almost as if the whole house was a homage to the past, his parents and his early life as
gifted child, of which his mother and father seemed to have been quite proud of.
Denis (our editor and interviewer of featured TUBES artists) told me later that Russell
was born in 1927 [in Oldham] - At 91 years old (when we visited him) he is in remarkable
good shape of both mind and body. He earned his living by working for an engineering
organisation where he used his talent for drawing as a draughtsman technician. He retired in
1992 having spent some time as a part-time art teacher also engaging with his love of pottery.
all artwork ©Russell Howarth - reproduction strictly prohibited ©painters TUBES magazine 2018/2019
all work shown is ©Russell Howarth - Article and images ©painters TUBES magazine
“painting seemed to
After a little while Russell invited us to see
some of his art. And to do this we had to
climb the steep stairs to his bedroom. On
entering his bedroom it was clear to me that
the artist had prepared for our visit.
Paintings were positioned on the bed,
carefully laid out, more paintings were
stacked at the side of the bed also in fact
painting seemed to be
everywhere one looked.
Both Denis and I looked them over and the
Artist remained quite silent, allowing us the
time and space to absorb and appreciate the
work and study them in detail. He invited
us to take a look at some of his sketchwork.
These ‘sketches’ - (in my opinion
these were stand alone works of art in
themselves) were kept in a large ‘Victorian’
chest of deep drawers, and each draw
(four in all) were full of sketches - Russel
laughed as he told Denis that one gallery
come art dealer had visited him at home
and thumbed through the sketches saying
“don’t sell this one Russel, or, “reserve that
one for me Russel”, or “I’ll take that one
when you want to sell it to me.”
But the artist seemed totally unimpressed
by the back-handed compliment of the over
keen and commercially driven art dealer.
We looked through the sketches carefully,
I was very taken by the sheer technical
ability the artist demonstrated in these
wonderful graphite and pen and ink work.
The quantity reflected the life long art
practise of this extraordinary artist.
“I have some more paintings...”
“Some more,”....wasn’t an adequate statement”
Some more,”....wasn’t an adequate statement to cover what was to come.
As we entered the bedroom, which was the same size as the the main bedroom, there were three cupboards built into
alcoves from floor to ceiling and a small bed. Russel went to one of the cupboards and invited Denis to take a look
inside - The cupboard was totally full of painting on thin board organised and stacked neatly.
Denis began taking a few out from various stacks and examining each one - after a while - and with delight on his
face Denis said...
“...these are totally abstract” - Russell reacted quickly
“of course, they are all abstract.”
The artist said this with an assurance that he was all too aware of their unique quality of the integration of abstraction and
reality - using landscape as just a catalyst for their creation - This specific painterly visual art form, especially in the late
1950’s, and perhaps even today, was and is ground breaking stuff - No wonder he felt somewhat ‘insulted’ by the ‘semifamous
local artists’ some long time ago telling him how and how not to paint.
I asked him how he felt living on his own, he told me that how his neighbours and friends all keep ‘eye out’ even the
window cleaner pops round for a cup of tea brings him anything he wishes from the shops. And of course there was his
brother who is one of his closest admirers.
A little overwhelmed by the beautiful art that we had viewed in both the bedrooms, we returned to the living room where
we talked to Russel for another hour or so.
all work shown is ©Russell Howarth - Article and images ©painters TUBES magazine
He shown us original catalogues from
1954 of the Royal Society of artists
exhibition and shared some personal
stories about his life, mainly about his
father. We had stayed far longer than
we could as our time table for seeing
other artists was a long list, but the 3
hours with Russel was an unforgettable
Denis told me that this unassuming and
modest artist is, he thinks, the most
misread modern artist of his own time
and even now placed into a genre that
he is not part of.
His work should be exhibited in public
spaces next to the ‘all time ‘ names of
Northern English Art ( that is: Laurence
Stephen Lowry, Theodore Major, and
William Ralph Turner. Perhaps one day
that will be the case, but for now he
remains content that his life’s work is
A new sketch was taped to a board that
was resting on the table in the living
room, Russell pointed to it and said...
“...that’s a sketch
for a new one.”
Russel’s love for creating art will
obviously stay with him until the end...
That is a marvelous yet to be written
end story to a great painter who has
undoubtly, to my mind, ensured of a
‘special’ place in the annuals of Art
History. I think I will try to persuade
Denis to write a book on Riussel, I’m
sure no one could write it better .
Russell Howarths’ paintings are held in a number of commercial galleries and in private collections, over for more
information on all the artists work contact: email@example.com
all work shown is ©Russell Howarth - Article and images ©painters TUBES magazine
above: Old Victoria
24 inches x 20 inches
15 inches x 18 inches
images provided coutesy of
Cheshire Art Gallery
from a different perspective.”
written by Marianne Arnberg - and
edited by Denis Taylor - especially for
TUBES magazine- ©2019
original interview July 2018
Risk, Reinvention and Revolt
by Gregory Evans
image: the Happy Banker by George Condo - oil on canvas painted 2010 ©GeorgeCondo
Risk, Reinvention and Revolt
To go backward is to do nothing; it is pure loss; it means that one has
neither understood nor profited by the lessons of the past.”
The first thing that an artist has to understand goes against everything that many artists
believe they stand for. Business is entrenched in the art world, and to wish to go back to
a time before is futile. It is no longer separate from our artistic endeavours. If we want our
work to be seen, and it must be seen, then it is via business that it is shown
- if the artists work isn’t seen, it has no reason to be .
Consider the Zen Koan...
“...if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does
it make a sound?”
This is about action and response, or consequence, the two foundational building blocks of
our living universe. If there is no no response, no consequence, then it doesn’t concern us,
does it? Here’s our problem - artists, by nature of either personality, circumstance, or both,
are highly individualised, autonomous and singular. They drag themselves each day into
their attics, lofts, garages, studios, caves and spare bedrooms to be alone with themselves
and their muses, disdaining any form of interruption or distraction. They snub their noses at
just the thought of someone even daring to enter the god like, parodistic realms of creation
and trade secrets.
They fall prey to uninspired moments, blaming anything and everything outside of
themselves for the lack of performance while continuing to claim solitary existences in
self–defence (or self–preservation) saying that they care not for what others think.
Meanwhile, they thrive on compliments on their work and their coveted sales.
We’re artists – they don’t need anyone. (yeah, right, sure, artists don’t need anyone
...we say, I know because I’m an artist too)
If artists are able to achieve some level of success, they will feign being a team player,
acknowledging those around them with great thanks. Thanks to art agents, gallery owners,
curators, collectors, fans – having arrived at that place so rightly deserved. Artists can
thank all those around them for their loving support, but inside, artists still convince
themselves that really it was just them, and them alone that did it all. Wasn’t it?
That’s the twist, of course. Artists, really believe that this peripheral but cooperative
business activity is irrelevant to their actual creative process, the vision, the product.
It is the Art product that is what is great. It is an artist, in singular nature,
behind closed doors, who have created the cherished and beautiful work of art
– no one else had a hand in it.
The creations are like artists children – they bear a stamp, blood, sweat and tears.
But, when someone like a gallery owner steps up to represent an artist and the work, this
person is now contributing their own blood, sweat and tears to that work. This allows the
work to grow. If a collector steps up, then it grows even more. When two or more gather
around this energy started by an artist, the love of the work from others can make it huge.
Many need to contribute to make things great. No worries though, you can still put your
name on your work, but remember this, your work is not just yours...
“...its a lonely existence to exclude others.”
image: Gustave Corot “the desperate man”
When I was first asked by the editor of Painter’s Tubes magazine to write an article on Artists and Risk for issue #13,
I immediately thought I knew what I’d be doing. I had decided to take an academic approach to this topic. With a bit
of art history experience under my belt from those long ago college days, I started listing those artists from our past
and summarising their great accomplishments that were achieved by taking great risk. I gathered all the facts and was
tapping out words on my keyboard. On and on they flowed (fuelled by those pages and pages of notes). Over 1,000
words in, my hands flew up in the air, what felt like an ice-pick struck me in my forehead, and I suddenly realised that
my brain had solidified due to the coldness of the direction I had chosen; because of the unfeeling nature of what I had
written thus far. If I painted the same way I began this piece, I’d probably end up being suicidal.
So, I decided to change my direction...
“Passion is more powerful than
So let’s get on topic here.
I’d like to start by saying that first and
foremost, it’s not to those great artists who
already take risks
I address here, but to those who have
forgotten that it is by taking risks that we
become great artists.
Risk is an essential, for without that risk,
none of us would have ever become artists to
So what is risk, and how does it apply
to what you do? Anytime you approach
the unknown and you leave that which is
comfortable for something that isn’t, there
is risk involved. Any time you face potential
rejection or ridicule or even loss of client–
base (income), you have employed risk.
Anytime you challenge yourself, and, for
example, decide to do something that you’ve
never done before, like paint a cubist–style
portrait when your usual is a realist take on
your subject, you’ve taken a risk.Many
risks can be taken with little risk at all,
except for the self-inflicted humiliation
we subject ourselves to when were not as
successful as we wished to be.
images: above: ´Dryad’ 1850mm x
1080mm Pablo Picasso.
opposite page: ‘portrait’ George Condo
Give it a shot anyway, go ahead and be bold, jump into that great abyss. There’s no need to blow it out of proportion
– its great to explore. Not all risks can be, or will be, life changing, and it is never the end of the world to deviate
momentarily, forgetting all you think you know. The necessary thing is that you risk, at least a bit, from time to time,
because some of those risks can, before you realise it, be life changing!If the risk you take, if your departure is far
from home, and it doesn’t please you, you can always return to what is familiar to take another risk another day. After
all, its just a one–off, and nobody says that you’ve got to share it with the world (that’s another, altogether different
kind of risk). Remember, anytime you return home from a daring journey, from some wild adventure, you might just
find that upon your return, you have actually brought something of value back with you alongside those few bumps
and bruises, and so this risk has brought growth with it, both to you and your work.
“I could roll myself in it, drink it, eat it and kill myself, suffocating in it.” George Condo
If you like the adventure, then do it again, maybe in a different direction. At some point you’ll find something worth
exploring in a deeper way. Taking risk becomes easy with practice and pattern, and really, what you’re changing
is only patterns of behaviour.Painting is pattern. It’s patterns of lines and shapes and colours. Its also patterns of
systems and certain behaviours and beliefs. It’s all those patterns you’ve established that provide you with a sense of
accomplishment, but those same patterns, those same beliefs, can also enslave you.
“The patterns available to you are infinite, and they deserve exploration.”
There’s no need to sit on the same rock every time you go for a walk in the woods. There’s so many other rocks to
enjoy. Beware if you feel that you’ve found some permanent solution, some eternal pattern, because if what you’ve
found is all that comfortable, really all you’ve found is a nice place to rest and you’ve forgotten the truth of the
journey itself!Taking risks are at the foundation of creative activities. How many of us didn’t risk something when
we first decided to paint on a canvas, bought some tubes of paint, picked up a brush, and started slinging paint around
the dining table, with only a bit going where it was supposed to.Painting is organic – it wants to change, to grow, to
evolve. Painting wants you to be its partner, it wants to dance with you to a song that’s forever changing. You can play
it safely, or you can go out on a limb for those finest fruits, those unreachable fruits, those sweetest fruits.Don’t let
your comfort stop you from being the adventurer you are. Be bold and be daring. Punk it up and scare yourself.
Loose or tight, Realist or Abstract – remind yourself that you’re not looking for what you already know...
but what you’re looking for... is what you don’t know.
“What’s essential is that I paint, and accept that there’s something stronger than
myself.”– Alexander “Alexone” Dizac
It is risk, and risk alone, that allows for reinvention of one’s self and one’s work. Risk doesn’t require
that you reinvent yourself or your work, but it is the foundational practice that encourages, or at
least allows a reinvention to take place, if you choose. The two can work hand in hand, for as the
artist changes, so does the work, and as the work changes, so does the artist.Thankfully, many have
stepped up by taking those risks. Some more slowly than others, and that’s okay, but a wave has been
set in motion that can have us see great change in art and its presentation, – this is a wave that many
consultants, collectors, curators, and gallerists are now plugged into. Sadly, for others, it’s a wave that
many would choose to ignore.
As an example: since the internet has become such a powerful channel for the sales of art, galleries have
been trying to adapt to this new arena which is sometimes viewed as a challenger or competitor, thought
its not. The internet is only a tool, and like any tool, it must be seen for what it is, and it must be used
correctly. Galleries are not being reinvented because of this, and they won’t disappear, but their business
models are changing with the addition of this tool to the business repertoire. New models are being put
into place, new patterns are being established – that’s how we grow.We don’t have a lot of experience
to draw upon here, for the modern art industry was a fledgling entity just one hundred years ago.
In the late ninetieth and early twentieth centuries, with the invention and increased popularity of the
“new” camera, a few artists quickly stumbled upon a “What now?” paradigm.
image:©Alexone Dizac. “Do Aussie Mi Fili”
If anyone with a camera could now reproduce reality onto a flat medium, there was no longer any need for a painter to
paint traditional portraits, landscapes and pretty birds. There arose a need to ask what painting is for if its suddenly just a
time consuming method for creating what the camera could create, what the camera could do better. These artists didn’t
step up to change art itself, but to change what they were doing with art. They needed a reason to be. They took risks,
and they reinvented themselves.
“Show it through your eyes, don’t do it because ‘that art sells.’”– Todd White
It seems that an artist must question his motives for painting – motives must be examined. Is it some deep need or
compulsion that you do what you do, or is it for the money (real or imagined)? Are you just entertaining yourself
and never challenging your own vision? Are you resting on those laurels you’ve laid, your past successes and
accomplishments? Have you become content in your static existence, relishing in your apathy?Reinvent yourself.
Reinvent your portraits. Reinvent your landscapes. Reinvent your still life, your abstracts, your narrative, your story.
Be daring, seek new challenges. If you seek the perfect colour, the perfect brush stroke, the perfect technique, you can
continue on your search for that perfection, but remember, all those colours, all those brush strokes and techniques only
contribute to something greater than you yourself. They contribute to the final image, and that is what is of import here –
that is what we are creating.Really, if one really wants to tap the extremes of their imagination, one has to tap their own
personality, because it is through your personality that imagination passes.
One must be willing to confront head on the way one sees the world, because its this vision that ends up on the
canvas.Study those who have reinvented themselves and you’ll see art reinvented. Study those who have walked that
path before you. Study everything you can – absorb it all until you are filled with the work of others. Be a sponge.
Once you have filled yourself with all that you can, forget it, forget all of it – squeeze yourself dry and go do something
different, something you haven’t yet seen.
Open your eyes to see something different and you eyes will show you something that’s different.
The next time you consider painting the proverbial Honore de Balzac, do it with the same attitude that Rodin used when
he sculpted his Monument de Balzac. Take criticism where its offered, even if its a slap in the face, and then forget that,
too. People will eventually come around, but for now, seize your own greatness, and know that its yours.There’s nothing
like being awarded a badge of honour when you know that you really haven’t yet done something to deserve it. Growth
implies movement and change. If you’re moving and changing, you’re growing.
“This can only be done by risk and reinvention.”
I fear that I’ll have to follow my desires.”
Cultural change only occurs by revolt and revolt can only follow from risk and its’ resulting reinvention. Art is
no different. Change is born of a deep need to shake things up, from a deep dissatisfaction of the status quo. This
change may be a mild to fair departure from what is accepted, or it may be so extreme it disturbs and destroys the
whole of the cultural paradigm.
Whether we know it or not, it’s revolt that we are aiming for when we take risk enough to reinvent what we do
and who we are. What starts as a personal thing always must become collective if its to have the greatest impact.
This is why we cannot be alone, or stand alone.Everything moves in cycles – it’s all circular.
With revolution, each time we complete a cycle we find ourselves back where we started, only we’ve elevated
things, we’ve lifted things and been lifted with them into a higher octave. That’s why its called revolt, because it
revolves, but raising it up, lifting it into new realms, can only be done by choice. If we don’t lift things up, we’re
just running in circles, we’re screaming and shouting, and nothing changes and all things repeat. It might be
revolving, but its not revolting. It’s historical in either case.
“I mock Verbatim” Robert Williams
There are those ripples of revolt on the surface of our industry, but we must rise to that surface to see those ripples
for what they are. If we rest in comfort far below, we see nothing and we stagnate. If we rise just a bit, we can
sense there is something going on, but unless we join those at the surface, those that are part of this shaking, this
vibration, we can’t know it for what it is.
We can’t know what it represents, or where it could go. If we complain that things aren’t working for us, if we
moan about what we lack or what we deserve but don’t have, its because we are still denying ourselves and the
truth of what we could be. Looking up is not enough, we must rise to the occasion that awaits.
From Mannerism in the late Renaissance period, to the first effects of the manufacture of the camera shaking
up our soon to be impressionists and Fauvists, and the then later explosive popularity of that same camera
demanding a response from Braque and Picasso and others during the Cubist movement, artists have risen to the
Long before art was an industry, artists have always stepped up to the challenge of changing public perceptions of
what the image can do. Now, we artists don’t stand so alone, we are not so autonomous, the world is not so small
a place. Those who have joined the milieu of the industry must show those same qualities that artists show – they
must push themselves and take risks, greater risks, and great rewards may follow.
Andy Warhol with his pop–realism was a lifting from the CIA financed movement called abstract expressionism.
Street artists transcending the mundane graffiti gang–tags and claiming our cities walls as their own canvasses
and later entering the studio to do more portable and longer lasting works were uplifting – its all revolving.
Its all revolt!Whether you’re an artist, consultant to the stars, curator, collector, gallery owner, or an agent, you
can always go one step further than you have. Artists cannot be the only one’s taking risks. We all can risk, we all
can play. We can dance with no other agenda than to be a part of something that could be great.
Rebel along with those artists who rebel.
Come into the dance like a child and do something that matters more than the bottom line.
“Redefine what you consider is success and failure, then you’ll find there is no failure.”
William De Kooning - woman series
History has shown us the one thing all movements share is money, a lot of money. The last hundred years have
made this even more evident. Movements have always been funded. Like water is to plants, money is to art.
Without funding, a fledgling idea can die before it is born...The abstract movement would have never happened if
only the artist had stepped up. It took a group, a large group of artists, gallery owners, curators and collectors, all
possessing an undying devotion to a new form of art to make what happened in France in the early 20 th century such
a substantial offering – an offering that has lasted a century and given permission to other, future artists to move
from the cubist ways in new directions. Cubism was a huge shift, and it was collectivity that set its momentum – the
money followed.Artists can no longer ignore each other – they can no longer be isolated in their own little worlds
of successes and failures. Artists must support each other , encourage each other, and all those in the whole of the
art industry must step up and NOT just support the individuals who create image, but must take on a collective
attitude towards something much bigger. When something good is happening, those movers and shakers have got
to look for the new talent and encourage cooperative attitudes. Artists can struggle with this communal ethos, but it
can be understood because it is the artist who is normally sequestered in their studios, buried up to their gills in wet
paints while neglecting even the need to eat – what artist has the time to manage a business when they have brushes
to clean? Things must be changed. Artists must change. We must become more inclusive, more wild and free with
ourselves, and no longer be confined by our personal and world-views of what being an artist means.
“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed,
will set off a revolution”.
We must all, from artists to collectors and all those between, step our our game and take bigger risks. We must all
imagine the unimaginable. We all can imagine – we each envision success, reward and recognition to some degree
for ourselves – but the power of imagination and its applications on our mundane lives is severely disregarded. We
have rules to follow – there are specific ways to follow if one is to achieve success. I ask, where would art be today
if it weren’t for taking risks?Our realities must really be stretched along with ourselves ourselves if we wish to step
beyond the ordinary. If we don’t reach out, we have no reason for pursuit in our lives, everything becomes static,
unchanging, and sadly comfortable. When you come up for some fresh air and see those ripples becoming large waves,
you can begin to live. When those ripples do start swelling with the power of collectivity, those willing to ride with this
new force in our fresh Post–Urban world, will stand to make a mark by their contributions to something bigger than
we can see right now.I don’t believe any one artist can ever change this world on their own, but if you feel that this
industry does need change, it will come only by risk, reinvention and revolt. Its not only the artist that needs to address
this, but if artists don’t change what they’re doing, then no one else can change things – we are at the centre of this big,
creative world, and we can’t expect others to do what we refuse to do ourselves. Collectors and buyers won’t change,
galleries won’t change, museums won’t change, unless we change So, all that being said, perhaps, as artists we need
to find support, love, admiration, collectors, representation and so on, or perhaps, just perhaps, we simply have to
imagine what has never been imagined before, and the rest will follow.
“In the end, everything depends on one’s self, on a fire in the belly with
a thousand rays. Nothing else counts.
painting ‘plein air’
from before 1800’s to today
This is how Google explain what plein air painting is...
Plein Air from before 1800’s to today
written by Denis Taylor Editor for painters TUBES magazine
“...en plein air is a French expression that means “in the open air.”
It is used by artists to describe the art of outdoor painting, capturing landscapes and views in
natural light. This kind of art has been a popular practice for centuries
and requires special skills and techniques.”
Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves. Cezanne
Do you agree with that definition? Technically it is correct, well the first part is, I mean it is French for in the
open air, but what about the rest of the statement. Is it really used by artists to describe their work?
Or is it used more by Art professionals, galleries and social media platforms to place this sort of art into
a convenient ‘art’ box? - Personally I think the later rather than the former is correct, but does it need a special
skill ? Not really, painting is painting isn’t it? No matter where or what you paint with or even on, inside or
outside, it’s much more complex and involved than just the skill to do it - it’s more complicated than just having
some sort of natural talent or a gift for transcription of an object or scene that is in front of the painter.
So, why should any artist even mention the word Plein Air about how a work of art was created?
Wasn’t all painting in the plein-air at some point in time or another - or not?
Was the prehistoric cave dwellers painting plein air? I guess almost in the open, but not quite.
How about the early civilisations, Sumerians, Egyptians or the ancient Greeks?
Did they paint plein air? Quite possibly they did, who knows. Having painted in Greece myself I do know
painting in the shade is essential in hot climates, especially in the Summer months.
Ancient ‘Artists’ creating painting that have been discovered in the Chauvet Cave, Ardéche, France. These are dated
from 30,000 to 28,000 BC and makes todays artists consider the creation of art as an essential human condition.
(©DRAC Rhone-Alpes, Ministere de la Culture/AP images)
So, maybe it was when the ‘Artists’ became to be seen as more than the decorators of the ancient monuments, or
the recorders of battles and great victories or painting a portrait for a Ruler that the segment of the society known as
‘kalitechnis’ [in Greece translated as someone with good technique] - were seen as an integral part of the ‘civilised’
world. This is when Artists became ‘valued’ for what they could do for the Rulers and Religion. And not so much for
what they could contribute to the development of sensibilities for humanity as positive human beings. To be ‘kalitechnis’
was sort of special. And as the centuries rolled over, the word Artist also took on an air of ‘special-ness’ - As it was
seen as they were in touch with (the) Gods or the one God in the case of the Italian Renaissance. Even then though, the
artists were commissioned to do a paying job - that was to visualise and put the plebiscites in awe (and fear) of a God.
Religion had become a tool for education and control of the masses before and well past until the ‘enlightenment’.
Why that connection was made (Art & God) is still debated today - what’s that got to do with Plein Air painting, I can hear the
reader saying to themselves in critic of the writer ‘meandering’ off the subject. Well, it is related, tenuously perhaps.
However, I do not know or at least I cannot think of one, artist past or present who at some point in time has not worked outside
‘under God’s sky’ so to speak. Nor can I think of one artists that has not wanted to be in direct contact with ‘Nature’ quite literally
- even to the extent of suffering all sorts of discomfort, be that hot or cold, rain or snow or being bitten beyond endurance and
patience by various flying insects, ground ants and a whole range of nasty things that feed of warm blooded creatures like us
humans. Some artists even see this ‘self inflicted torture’ as a sort of badge of honour - “Here’s one I did in minus 23 degrees
centigrade conditions this morning.” ...is an exaggerated statement to quote maybe, but one quite close to the truth and not
that uncommon in the interminable volume of art blogs on the world wide web. It’s almost a stoic religion to paint in adverse
conditions. When Monet travelled to Norway to visit his son (Jacques) he was well into his 40’s - he is reported to have sighed
“Oh but I would have come here as a younger man, what wonders I could have done”.
two diffrent versions of Mont Kolsaas Marmottan - Norway painted circa 1885
elow “Snow, Storm, Steam, boat of Harbour’s Bay - J.M.W. Turner - Commons Wikipedia.
The experience is all for painters to choose for themselves - For example we all know the story of J.M.W. Turner
and how he strapped himself to a ships mast to experience the raging storm in the English channel (if you been in
one of those English channel storms, you’ll know how terrifying they can be, I know I have.) Putting down that sort
of experience in paint on a flat surface is more than just about the skill of imaging it - it’s capturing that feeling of
impotence against the power of nature - in paint - That goes for all emotions and conditions of the human, be that fear,
joy, happiness or even the feeling of being close to one’s God.
I guess one more practical good reason for painting plein air is... it’s cheap. If an artist can’t afford a good sized studio to
work in - plein air is a ‘natural studio’ that is almost for free -(apart from the cost of getting to the chosen spot of course,
but even that can be integrated into family holidays). It’s a challenge to maintain that direct experience of nature, a
feeling that can be effectively transcribed and placed down on a flat surface in paint in a studio and it does require belief
in the self as as artist. This belief may even be a little egocentric or indeed conceited, but artists need to have a healthy
ego to take on what may seem, to the many, as just too difficult to take on.
And if reality is what is popular (or a version of reality) and what people want - then the more important it is to
demonstrate artistic ability and therefore makes the work valuable and worth paying money for - Or so many artists
would have one believe. The absolute truth is - painting anything at all - is just about having the confidence to do it.
After that it’s a decision process.... “do I simply do what I can do? (make an image) Or do I try to do something that
is really difficult?” or: “Do I do something that I know will sell in a gallery or on the web?” These decisions are real
and difficult because painters, like every other person in the current fabric of society, are obliged to pay their way, and
put food on the table. Nothing comes for free in this western world we live in, unfortunately much of the public think
anything to do with Art is free and always should be free...
..And so say all of us...but please do tell me - who pays the piper and feeds the artists kids?
Part One of ‘plein air’ written by Denis Taylor Artist & Editor
Short History of Plein Air 1800’s to today
written by ©2019 Paul Constantine and edited by painters TUBES magazine
One of the heroes of plein air painting that is rarely spoke of is John (Goffe) Rand - an American
born painter, who whilst living in Middlesex, England, developed a metal tube with a screw top
that could hold and keep fresh any ‘paint pigment’ mixed with a binding medium - oil paint being
the prime paint used by artists at the time. The patent was registered in the USA under Patent
number 2,252 on September 11th 1841. This was ‘taken-over’ by Winsor & Newton the renown
artists material suppliers and made available to the global marketplace in the same year - It
coincided with the young group of artists in France, who stimulated by the Barbizon group of
artists, took there easels, canvas and paint boxes loaded with TUBES out into the wider country,
cities and towns of France - and kicked off a revolution in painting. Later in life Renoir, one of the
leading impressionists, was to say...
“...without paint in Tubes there would have been nothing...”
He was of course referring to the paintings of the impressionists including himself, Monet,
Bazille, Pissarro and Sisley. And the two main established painters, who were responsible for
supporting and encouraging this revolution, only through their connection with them, that was
Manet and Degas (note: who strictly speaking were Not ‘impressionists painters’).
However it was the ‘Barbizon’ painters that were the catalyst impression and for these younger painters.
In the early 1800’s the idea of painting ‘Landscapes’ from life as a finished work of art was considered
crass and not worthy of being labelled ‘a work of Art’ by the art institutions in Europe, and Paris
in particular. The rigid ‘rules’ set down by a few has persisted through the years, even if Art was
eventually to have been freed from their clutches, it is now evident that art soon comes under control as
the academic leaders always tend promote the art sanctioned by the preferred culture of the State.
It was perhaps John Constable, the English landscapist who, despite being frowned upon in his own
country, was highly regarded in France by artists.
His work and the ease of access to the forests of Fontainbleu, south west of Paris, encouraged artists to
spend time in the area (around 1817) painting outside and capturing nature in its glorious complexity of
forms and colour. The first 20 new arrivals being attracted to the area to paint ‘trees’ for a competition
where a monetary prize was up for grabs. It was also fortunate that these painters could lodge at an
Inn, run by the Gann family, which was cheap and very friendly. Mrs Gann, providing sandwiches for
the artists ‘lunch’ to eat and ensure they could paint a full day before returning to a hot meal washed
down with good wine. Not surprisingly the Inn of the Gann’s became the central (unofficial) HQ of the
Barbizon artists, where they could discuss their new ideas as comrades.
The full list of these painters is extensive, today only a few names are known to a general public, but the
main artists are as follows: Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet, and Charles-François Daubigny,
Jules Dupré, Constant Troyon, Charles Jacque, Narcisse Virgilio Díaz, Pierre Emmanuel Damoye,
Charles Olivier de Penne, Henri Harpignies, Paul-Emmanuel Péraire, Gabriel-Hippolyte Lebas, Albert
Charpin, Félix Ziem, François-Louis Français, Émile van Marcke, and Alexandre Defaux. (note: Corot
also painted ‘plein air’ in Chailly Forests in 1822).
Paintings above: Corot. Forests of Fontainbleau 1830. below: Rouseau. Barbizon (circa 1840’s)
Of course many more artists visited the area including
the young impressionists artists.
At this time ‘oil paint’ was loaded in ‘pig bladders’
The introduction of paint in TUBES in 1841 was a full
23 years after the first Barbizon paintings were created
(1817) it must have been an astonishingly liberating
experience for the artists. It is important to realise that
the Barbizon played a huge part in the globalisation of
painting under the roof of nature.
William Morris Hunt, an American artist who spent
much time with the painters of the Forests of Fontinbleu
and owned many paintings by them was to become one
of the leading painters in the nineteenth century when he
returned to Boston, (USA)
after his father had passed away in 1832. It was he that
brought ‘plein air’ painting to the Americas where it
blossomed into the American School.
By 1860, the tools for painting plein air had been
improved and increased as the demand increased.
For example in 1860 collapsible easels with boxes
built in for painters Tubes were marketed and in 1863
an improved canvas to pasteboard to prevent warping
was patented by Albert Collins (Collins Canvas Board)
and sold widely. By 1867 a stippled textured panel was
also introduced (to the American market place) which
imitated canvas paintings.
Business was not slow to latch onto the new ‘fad’ of
painting plein air. Artists now freed from the constraints
of studios and subject matter, exploded onto the Art
scene. The extent to which plein air became popular
started to ‘taint’ it with an amateur art ‘weekend painter’
status as the twentieth century progressed. By the
mid twentieth century ‘plein air’ painting was all but
abandoned by ‘serious artists.’
The term ‘plein-air’ seems to have been replaced
by ‘observational sketching’ and then taking these
studies into the studio for production for their gallery
representative to exhibit.
Painting was slowly becoming a product.
It may seem odd that whilst Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Cezanne
were held in the highest of esteem by painters (all three painted
plein air, in the main) even Matisse and Picasso admitted these past
artists were their masters. It was another form of art that led the
art world and the living artists of the mid to late twentieth century
looked towards intellectualism rather than emotional or spiritual
connections to create a visual two dimensional figurative based Artform.
However, plein air had not ‘died’ as an art practise, it had simply
gone underground. Painters maintained a passion for working
direct from nature. The challenge of capturing the light and how
it interacts with the earth, the trees, the rivers, the ocean etc -
everything on the planet in fact, was a challenge that could not be
resisted by gifted painters who wanted to feel the exhilaration and
the sheer enjoyment of painting in the open air.
Today many artists who paint nothing but plein air work are
still frowned upon by the ‘art-establishment’ - but the www has
created a new marketplace and a global audience for these artists.
Landscape is still the number one subject as far as the public are
concerned. And landscapes painted plein air add to genré which
‘out-sell’ all other painted works of art.
However, many painters are approaching ‘plein-air’ in a different
way today - Mixed media, charcoal drawings, mixed
drawing and paint canvas which are presented as finished
art works are showing themselves in greater numbers.
Artist are experimenting with form, medium and effects.
Abstraction of nature freely juxtaposed with absolute
reality. Traditional landscape composition is also being
challenged and re-invented by artists to alter perceptions
of the natural works using the infinite microscopic
patterns and structures of nature.
All of the works created in front of nature, with
instinctive and educated placement of pigment on canvas
or board and the benefit of the ‘feelings’ an artist
receives from working with nature.
Images top: ‘The Old Oak by Jules Dupré’ c.1870
bottom: Winslow Homer
Artist Sketching in the White Mountains, USA
Short history of ‘Plein Air’
Written by Paul Constantine
edited by painters TUBES magazine
Artists today choosing ‘plein air’ methods and nature to
create wonderful works of Art
painters TUBES is delighted to bring you five artists who are creating works of art by employing the advantages of direct connection
with nature. The art shows how contemporary painters are constantly searching for new expression and exploring different
mediums to gain that spontaneous mark making that creates something which is truly authentic and original painting. The examples
shown need no critic from me or extensive explanation to the reader.
The quality is self evident. If the reader wishes to know more, all these excellent artists are known and visible on the array of social
media, or you can contact Tubes with any questions you may wish to ask - visit www.painterstubes.com and go to the ‘contact’
page on our web site, or email TUBES direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Oliphant graduated from
Liverpool John Moore’s University
with a BA Hons (1st class) in Fine
Art in 2005 followed by a one year
Fellowship at Wirral Metropolitan
College in 2006, where an exhibition
at the Williamson Art Gallery showed
an extensive collection of her work.
Amanda then undertook further study
with an MA in Art as Environment
at Miriad, Manchester Metropolitan
University allowing continued
research into Art and Ecology.
What Amanda says about her work:
“Painting both outdoors and then
back in the studio helps to build a
painterly story, expressing many
layers that sometimes I have to walk
away from, find time to reflect, and
then return. They are a re-connection
to place, an interpretation of the
‘Journey’ Series of work
100 mm x170 mm Created May 2019
‘Journey’ Series of work
100 mm x160 mm Created May 2019
‘Journey’ Series of work
100mm x180mm Created May 2019
Below: ‘Journey’ Series of work
100 mm x160 mm Created May 2019
Below: ‘Journey’ Series of work
100 mm x160 mm Created May 2019
for more information contact: email@example.com
Here is what Brian has to say about his
work: “As a painter, it is my desire to bring
to life what may appear as ordinary and to
transform it into something extraordinary.
To awaken in the viewer a passion for life
as expressed by my passion for painting.”
Today, I am quite drawn to works by
Russian Impressionists both past and
present. I find their freedom of paint
application and abstraction combined
with the earthy, root of reality to be most
“I’m in love with the sense of colour, light,
movement and the feeling of structure and
weight in their compositions. In my own
work I strive to use these elements to the
fullest of my capability. I create my art with
these ideals and I paint from life because
I feel that the artist and his work are an
extension of that spirit and can only
be expressed by immersing oneself
into that energy.”
above: Buenavista 50 inches x 60 inches
below: Sonoranwash 44 inches x 72 inches
34 inches x 56 inches
light. 20 inches x 30
the beginning of
18 inches x 28 inches
for more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tubes do not know much about Helen,
othan than her work speaks volumes about
her ability to capture nature in charcoal.
Currently she is studying for a masters
degree in print making and one can see
by these examples what her work in that
medium may look like.
It seems that if these can be translated
as copper etchings then they will be an
important contribution to that specialist
art genre as much as any previous in past
Her inspiration comes the coastline and
nature reserves of Devon in Southern
website: to be released.
for more information contact:
Top: “Storm coming in private
beach” - 580mm x 420mm (2019)
Bottom: “Turning Point.Walk at
580mm x 420mm (2019)
Full page right hand side:
580mm x 420mm (2019)
“Wanson Tide”. 580mm x
“Windy Wanson”. 580mm x
The artists studios are within an old Mill which is located at the foot of the
Pennine Hills of Northern England.
Stephen has been painting for over twenty years and his work is dominated
by his environment, although he does venture into abstraction and still life
The base for his technical skill was formed through the tutorship of an artist
who is the leading painter in the Saddleworth Artist Group
Although largely self-taught Stephen is naturally talented and a well liked
painter in the North West of England with both his fellow artists and
art collectors alike.
His current ‘style’ is adopting the loose brushed approach that is can seen
in contemporary studios throughout the UK, although Stephens immediate
application is assured with an obvious natural talent and a strong sense of
balanced colour and tone that comes from an accomplished painter.
oth these examples are form Stephen Stringers recent set of ‘plein air’ paintings
for more information contact: email@example.com
After studying at Cambridge School of Art (UK), Richard was as an illustrator in
London. The past ten years have seen an instinctive progression from graphic art to
painting, mainly pastels and more recently, acrylics.
Richard moved from London to Somerset and then in 2013 to Newlyn in Cornwall,
five miles from Land’s End, from where he draws most of his inspiration from.
Richard believes in painting what you have a real passion for and know best and the
Penwith peninsula in West Cornwall provides him with an endless daily inspiration for
Richard Sucking examples of work
for more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
in their own words...
in this issue - Mark Lloyd, Barry De More and Niki Heenen
talk about their Art
artists if you wish to talk about your art on these pages contact: email@example.com
ON LINE - NOW ONLY £2.00 per issue
(subscription for six on line mags) www.painterstubes.com
single printed issues now only £10 + p&p - www.painterstubes.com
an artist talks about on his own Art, in his own way.
Thank you kindly painters tubes for taking and interest in my work and allowing me an opportunity to discuss
my work and it conceptual structure and aims. A few basic overview points need to be established to provide
a good understanding of what my work is about and what I am trying to achieve. I have been a practicing
artist for 27 years but have taken my practice much more seriously in the last 9/10 years. I studied a degree
in fine art at Falmouth school of art and a master’s degree at Winchester school of art. I have had a studio in
Bournemouth for the last 9/10 years and I occasionally employ studio assistants to help me with my work.
I mainly work in painting but have produced work in; screen printing, digital formats, installation,
projection art, sculpture and ready-mades, public murals. But painting has remained a constant and
foundation or my art.
My Methodology starts with Research and I read post-modern philosophy/contemporary philosophical
ideas and critiques about modern times, explore and experiment with painting methods and approaches to
critique the ideas that fascinate me, I draw in sketchbooks and use Photoshop to quickly format ideas, that
later through development become series of paintings. Stylistically my Processes in painting utilises abstract
expressionist methods, graffiti art painting and drawing methods, and 20th century figurative painting
methods. In the Process of painting utilises abstract expressionist methods, graffiti art painting and drawing
methods, and 20th century figurative painting methods. I also employ layering in painting of imagery, marks
and gestures, colours, textures, shapes and use painting as writing and writing as painting.
I aim as an artist is to create a body of artwork that explores and critiques modern times and my experience of
present society and culture through the means of painting (and other art mediums and practices). I have mixed
feelings about the artwork I have created, in that my earlier work which is naïve in conceptual structure and
methods and techniques of painting actually embarrasses me, however it was a necessary stepping stone
or learning process to get me where I am today. However my new work from the last 9/10 years I feel is
successful and accomplished in concept and the painting in itself. I am proud of my work but fully understand
I have a long way to go on this journey.
The two series of work I wish to to discuss
are entitled Wonders and imperfections of space time
This series of painting began in 2013 after reading David
Harvey’s -The Condition of Postmodernity 1989.
In his work based on earlier writings by Karl Marx
in the theory of the “annihilation of time and space”.
Harvey discusses the ideas of space time compression
and that due modern technology and internationalization
are experience of time is accelerated and that this
“acceleration destroys space and compresses the time in
ways of perceiving reality” Virilio 2001.
Doreen Massey also discusses David Harvey’s
ideas about time-space compression in relation to
globalisation and its effect on our society and she
stated that; “our world is “speeding up” and “spreading
out”, time-space compression is more prevalent than
ever as internationalization takes place. Cultures and
communities are merged during time-space compression
due to rapid growth and change, as “layers upon layers”
of histories fuse together to shift our ideas of what the
identity of a “place” should be” Massey 1994.
These ideas fascinated me and seem to be
fully realised in the age of the internet.
I began working on a way to visualise these ideas in
paint. After a discussing with a friend of mine who
is computer technician he told me about a computer
program that if you input a digital movie into the
software program, the program compresses the visual
imagery of the film (2-3 hours) into one visual image
still. This seemed a visual artefact of time being
compressed and had a visual similar appearance to
a barcode. The process on the software program to
compress the movie into a still was quick, I wanted to
subvert and play the concept of time in image making by
replicating the image in paint which
would be a very slow process.
The whole methodology and process exploited the idea
of ‘time in image making’. I realised by using films/
movies that posited ideas about how technology is
changing our perception of time and reality I could add
Also fascinating is that the films/movies are figurative
and realism and by processing the data through
software the image became
abstracted through compression.
I worked on numerous experiments in different paints and
techniques to produce paintings that reflected the compressed
still abstracted image and the solution was found working in
spray paint and oil. I used masking tape to stencil or create
ridged boundaries and shapes in which I graduated the spray
paint or dragged oil paint on a sponge, slowly layer after layer
the painting processes began to replicate or visual represent the
compressed computer images of the chosen movies. I believe
that this series of work which is continues and ongoing, is
conceptually tight and by utilising masking tape surprisingly
freeing in expressive gesture and paint application.
The process was forgiving in a painterly context. I think the
paintings conceptually ask the question; if digital technological
image making processes annihilate space and time of reality
and the image, does the painting processes facilitate a rebirth or
victory to condense time/reality
into an intimate precious moment?
If technology distorts our experience of reality can painting
provide a truth or clarity of experience of reality?
Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry
into the Origins of Cultural Change. Cambridge, MA:
Blackwell, 1990 Paul Virilio - Decron, Chris. Speed-Space.
Virilio Live. Ed. John Armitage. London: Sage, 2001. 69–81.
Massey, Doreen (1994). “A Global Sense of Place”. Space,
Place, and Gende Post modernity hermeneutics
The second series of ongoing work which is entitled ‘Post
modernity hermeneutics’. Once again this whole series
conceptual frame work was influenced and constructed on
postmodern philosophies and in particular the work and ideas
of Fredric Jameson and the idea of “The waning (flattening) of
affect” that appears in his work Postmodernism or,
The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Jameson stated that
The waning (flattening) of affect” is a “a whole new type of
emotional ground tone—what I will call ‘intensities’—which
can best be grasped by a return to older theories of the sublime”
He states that the general depthlessness and affectlessness
of postmodern culture is countered by outrageous claims
for extreme moments of intense emotion, which Jameson
aligns with schizophrenia and a culture of addiction (mainly
to technologies). With the loss of historicity, the present is
experienced by the schizophrenic subject “with heightened
intensity, bearing a mysterious charge of affect , which can be
“described in the negative terms of anxiety and loss of reality,
but which one could just as well imagine in the positive terms
of euphoria, a high, an intoxicatory or hallucinogenic intensity”
Jameson (1991). Jameson’s idea of the ‘Flattening of affect’ is
a scientific term describing a person’s detachment and lack of
emotional reactivity and is used in the postmodern literature to
describe technology’s dehumanizing impact.
A key example is the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey where the main characters lose their humanity whereas the computer HAL
gains “his”. I see these ideas as we all do occurring at greater intensity’s in our modern societies and cultures, as technology
invades completely into the human experience, and as our technologies become closer to simulating humanity and humanness.
It was these ideas that I began to make paintings about in 2012 and have continued to make work about to this day. I
believe these paintings to be within the zeitgeist and have great relevancy. I began making the paintings by experimenting
and exploring in my sketchbook and on digital art software tools. I looked for examples of the theories in every day culture
and in popular culture artefacts and realised the conversations between humans and Ai. technologies from intellectual science
fiction movies perfectly illustrated Jameson’s ideas and concepts.
I employed the painterly practice of ‘painting as writing- writing as painting’ and wrote the words from quotations of science
fiction movies which were examples in concept of the ‘flattening of affect’ onto the canvas and left no grammatical gaps.
This created a confusing overload of information and an abstracted image/pictorial surface and a framework or structure
on which to paint. The works of text became an under drawing on which to paint and create marks and textures. This series
of paintings can take a long time to produce as they utilise a multi layering processes of building shapes, textures, colours,
gesture and mark marking. This evokes an ‘intoxicatory or hallucinogenic intensity’ in paint, a visual and painterly approach
in surface treatment and pictorial outcomes. Often when people have written about these paintings they have wrongly
labelled them as post graffiti, they are not. Stylistically they are more related to abstract expressionism and the work art of the
conceptual artists of the late 1970s early 1980s. As this series of paintings has progressed over the years I have on occasion
tried to introduce figurative elements into the paintings, I have found this difficult and have had effective and less effective
results and outcomes. Due to the painting process these works only really work effectively on large canvases due the nature of
the busy diverse pictorial surface.
Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism- Fredric Jameson (1991)
(For more information you can contact Mark at his website:https//lloyd-fineart.com )
images and writing ©Mark Lloyd 2019 & referenced named or quoted essays
Thank you for asking [about my art] here are a few thoughts:
A sheer curiosity of the natural world is what drives me as a painter. The combination of
myths and legends of a location with the physical attributes of the landscape combine in
a form of duality that creates an image in my mind. The sense of belonging or searching
for remanent connections from the past dig deep into my soul and nature reveals itself in
surges of energy through light and form.
There is no telling where I might find such places and I often come upon them them by
accident when searching for some thing else but as they say in Ireland ‘the veil is thin’
gives us a link into something far more resonant than painting a picture of something
but rather a picture that is something. Storms and bad weather provide heightened
sensations via the ionised particles in the atmosphere - these are the qualities of nature
that draw me into creating work in nature, for I wish to create experiences.
Barry De More
My studio is in West Yorkshire.
I am primarily self-taught with over 40 years experience. My early development
as a painter began by studying some of the great paintings in the galleries up
and down the country. This meant looking at these works quite attentively and
on occasions making drawings. I had the same approach when looking at art
books, making copies simply to learn how to draw.
I began painting seriously in 1976 and the main painters who influenced my early
studio practice (although there were many others) were Rubens, Caravaggio,
Titian and later Constable and Turner; then it was the French Impressionists
and not forgetting Walter Sickert (British) who made a profound impact on me.
Finally I saw the work of Auerbach and Kossoff which lead me into neo semiabstract
expressionism. They taught me to be more courageous in my approach
to what painting could be. Kossoff’s work showed me how painting could be
drawing and drawing, painting.
My primary source of inspiration is from observation and I have always given
precedence to drawing. I find that for me drawing begins the intimate relationship
between the subject and myself. The drawings are more than topographical they
go beyond the representational as I seek for an expressive language to interpret
what is before me. It is always a case of asking, “how do I do this?”
This is because every painting is new and has a new approach.
painting shown on these pages:
Top left hand side:
“The Lock at Salterbridge.”
“Skew Bridge Todmorden.”
“Greenwoods from the Library, Halifax,
all paintings ©Barry De More
Back in the studio I work from sketches or photos, this is the starting point,
but as the painting develops it can be changed many times and then the
drawings and/or photo is discarded as I work more and more with my
feelings and responses to the painted surface of marks and shapes.
To me the painting can turn out to be a total surprise from how it began and
I find I’ve created something ‘new.’ This all comes about because
I paint quickly and do not allow myself time to think too much, because long
concentration on a given area takes away from the fluidity of the making of
During the actual making of the painting I use a rigid kitchen knife to create
furrows into the paint, which adds to the overall energies of the painting.
I like to work wet in wet with quite heavy impasto gouging into the paint in
order to add another dimension of expression to the drawing into the paint.
The thick paint texture is not to create a ‘look’; instead, by building up the
paint I try to make something that works and that looks like a painting.
It takes courage and a certain amount of risk to keep going even though it
may look wrong. I continually work the painting as I do the drawings and
I continually destroy and remake until something comes alive.
As a serious painter I am constantly looking for a way to express my warm
feeling for Yorkshire, its landscape and its people.
I was a mature student at Bradford College of Art and gained my BA (Hons)
in Fine Art (Painting), this was followed by a teacher-training course at
Huddersfield University where I received my PGCE in Further Education.
Barry De More