Painting from memory


I have been away for nearly a month to see my family- my parents are both disabled and my father is blind.  Apart from the time spent in sorting out their problems, I have had time to reflect on my work, my art and what I had forgotten.  I found many things from my childhood, including diaries.  Since a young age, I have been collecting stuff- all sort of things but mainly magazine or newspaper cuttings.  As a child, I used to love pasting these and making sense of the what the drawing looked like, i.e. I didn’t start with an agenda but waited to see what would happen (Louis Kahn, the architect apparently used to ask the brick what the brick wanted to be).  Somehow I had forgotten this childish habit which I had naturally long before I had heard of Louis Kahn or any artist.  Then I saw the work of Jasper Johns as a 12 year old- it left an indelible impression on me. Again, I forgot about him and the electrifying effect that his work had on me.

Sorting out the stuff at my parent’s house, brought back all these memories and inspirations of my childhood that I had pushed aside.  Upon return, I have started painting again and what a joy it is! Due to my own eye problems, I realised I painted in a certain way. While I spend a lot of time thinking about the work and composing it (without too much thought towards what it might become), once I have decided, I paint quickly and deliberately.  I may come back sometimes to a painting and put on some little touches but most of the time, not.  I like to paint on found materials- card, masonite board, old pictures that people have put out as trash.  I like layering different materials- paper, tape and objects; and laying on thick paint with textures, so that the surface is very tactile as well as vibrant.  This particular painting is about events of 1984.  Again, I did not start it that way, I stuck some tickets, paper and magazine cuttings, a map and other stuff I found and then I realised I had created a story about 1984.  Someone saw it and remarked they liked it, even though I did not tell them what the painting was about.  I think art does not need to be explained too much- the viewer has to find an empathy and meaning in it themselves otherwise it does not connect. Thank you, Jasper Johns and Louis Kahn!