We all see something as simple as a cup left on a bench or overhear a conversation, which when we hear repeated or described can often bare little relationship to what we have witnessed or overheard. We all have different ways of expressing what we feel.
The same is to be said of painting. We can connect or not with particular works. Some people look to be challenged, some to be lulled. We have different ways of seeing.
Early paintings have a wonderful naivety about it such as cave painting. Aboriginal artists still have an immediacy we find intriguing, often in a simplified line, rather as the better graffiti we can sometimes find today.
At some point painting became heavy on detail and technique, and set out to tell quite involved stories, which could be looked at and absorbed over time.
I spent a lot of time in galleries in wonder at the techniques employed now I feel although technical brilliant mostly also rather dull.
I think lack of confidence and little formal education made me feel art meant realistic looking painting.
Philip Guston changed my life when I saw an exhibition of his work at the Whitechapel Gallery in the 1980’s. Although on first look they had a comic book quality to them I soon realized how powerful his images were. From that time there was no going back for me.
I understand myself and recognize my limitations; I find working the way I do now is the hardest way to paint. To let go of techniques learnt over many years are habits.
I have to constantly remind myself these techniques are not mine but a learnt way of seeing.