During a long corporate career I always managed to find time to paint, attending numerous art courses and exhibiting in many local amateur art societies.
On retirement I opened The White Gallery in Hove, exhibiting, essentially, contemporary local painters, ceramicists and craft jewellers, as well as major international figures through connections with London galleries.
In 2000 I started a part time Fine Art foundation course at Northbrook College, Worthing and went on to accomplish my BA degree with a first. My influences are various, but essentially, transience, -urban, erosion and decay, Wabi Sabi* and the palimpsest** and my dissertation became ‘The Ordinary Object in Art’.
In 1964 in New York , Andy Warhol exhibited constructed replicas of a pile of ‘Brillo Boxes’ identical to those that would be found in any hardware warehouses in the US. This led to Arthur C Danto, an eminent art critic and philosopher, and many others to proclaim the ‘end of Art’. My discourse claimed that the ‘end of art’ in this sense occurred in 1926, when Duchamp exhibited in New York a men’s urinal, titled ‘Fountain’ and signed R Mutt.
This lead me to research those artists influenced by Duchamp, including, in the 1950’s, Richard Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, both of whom used ordinary objects in their art. But the epiphany came when I discovered that Jasper Johns painting of the America flag and many other of his works were, in fact, Encaustic paintings over a collage of newsprint or similar text.
My immediate reaction was to research Encaustic painting, buy the necessary equipment and teach myself this exciting technology, which when worked on meets many of my basic influences.
I am essentially a process painter, in that, I am more interested in the process of painting than the outcome. Working in hot wax is immediate, spontaneous, has a mind of it’s own plus, once layered on a surface can be manipulated in numerous ways, by heat, adding pigment, scraping, incising, adding collage and transfers.
I have painted with hot wax almost continuously since 2002 and now think that it is time to share my skills with others.
*Wabi Sabi see link: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi
** Palimpsest see link: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest