Luz Silenciosa

Luz Silenciosa is a film by Mexican director Carlos Reygadas. I saw it last night and I think it is a very beautiful film - really unlike anything I have seen before. I did think of Dreyer's Ordet but Reygadas' use of the specific qualities of place (northern Mexico) and people (the Menonite community) create a totaly unique environment and mood which give the film a great intensity.
Here is the trailer, though I feel it is important to say that there is no musical soundtrack in the actual film.

A bit less time in the studio over last few days. A number of smaller paintings are underway characterized by a central lens or viewing hole which is usually oval in shape. Here is one in process:

A studio view taken yesterday. "Luz silenciosa" coming into the studio at last, after weeks of dullness and rain:

Finally, to all those who visit this blog, very best wishes for 2009!


Territories IV (Rameau)

Studio view this morning with Territories IV.

It's taken a while to get this one how I want. Dark light, the sense of energized space, the criss cross of shadows forming a dense lattice etc. It measures 125x105cm.

A detail...


Territories XVII

Territories XVII (...and I watched you disappear), 1999-2008, oil & spray paint on canvas, 65x54cm

Studio view with Territories XVII...


In process - territories (shift)

This is one of the paintings currently underway at the moment. Quite airy, light and thinly painted. It measures approximately 125x105cm.


Territories III

Some paintings are more of a mystery (even for me) in terms of where they come from: their source. The space is almost urban...very dense. A urgent state of mind: the dominant yellow. This painting really is a place in its own right. A slightly earlier version was reproduced in the blog recently.

In process...medio día



Hopefully, this blog gives a glimpse of the processes surrounding my work as a painter. All manner of things might be reflected on, and in many ways the blog functions as a kind of online notebook. I won't be able to respond to all comments within the blog itself so for any extended comments, questions or reflections I suggest sending me an email (to the address on the left) and I will be happy to reply!


End of Autumn...Francis Ponge

A naked chestnut tree that I saw this afternoon on a walk in Zalla.

It has been one of the wettest autumns I can remember. Everyday it rains. I miss the sunlight. And nothing moves me more than those sharp sunny days of autumn with a light full of contrast and clarity. I am posting here The end of autumn by Francis Ponge. He knew how to approach the things of this world, disecting them and opening them up into new configurations, making us see things afresh:

The End Of Autumn

All of autumn, in the end, is nothing but a cold infusion. Dead leaves of every sort steep in the rain. No fermentation, no production of alcohol: we’ll have to wait until spring to judge the effects of a cold compress on a wooden leg.
Sorting the ballots is a disorderly procedure. All the doors of the polling place slam open and shut. Throw it out! Throw it all out! Nature rips up her manuscripts, demolishes her bookshelves furiously clubs down her last fruit.
Then she abruptly gets up from her work table. She suddenly seems immense: hatless, head in the fog. Swinging her arms, she rapturously breathes in the icy, intellectually clarifying wind. Days are short, night falls fast; there’s no time for comedy.
The earth, in the stratosphere with the other heavenly bodies, looks serious again. The lit up part is narrower, encroached on by valleys of shadow. Its shoes, like tramp’s, soak up water and make music.
In this frog-farm, this salubrious amphibiguity, everything regains strength, leaps from stone to stone, changes pasture. Streams proliferate.
This is what’s called a good clean-up, with no respect for convention! Dressed or naked, soaked to the marrow.
And it doesn’t dry up right away, it goes on and on. Three months of salutary reflection with no bathrobe, or loofah, no vascular reaction. But its sturdy constitution resists.
So, when the little buds begin to jut out, they know what they’re doing, what it’s all about. That’s why they come out so cautiously, red-faced, benumbed, they know what lies ahead.
But thereby hangs another tale, perhaps from the black rule, though it smells different, I’ll now use to draw the line under this one.

Translated from French by C.K. Williams in Francis Ponge – Selected Poems.

Esta mañana...


Territories XVIII

Territories XVII (Spinoza), 2008, oil on linen, 80x70cm

In process - territories (pink)

In process - esta mañana

Things seen - Corot

I first saw paintings by Corot when I was still a student in London. The silver light and lightness of touch always make an impression on me. More recently I have been looking at his drawings. Here are a couple...a lesson in economy of means (but what scale they have!):

Sketch book (1857), landscape with tall trees with a horseman, a figure reading amidst trees and a sketch of a head.

Landscape with a figure near a tree, pen & brown ink, 20.6x16cm, circa 1852.