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Whilst in Crete I was "captured" by the Greek military who thought my drawings were maps! Then taken to an American intelligence officer who at least knew a little about abstract art. I never did get those drawings back.

So by 1964 I was working out, in many ink drawings, the initial ideas that would lead to 'Eye Music'. But it was not until 1966 that I started on this group: computer painting "avant la lettre". I knew it could be worked out by a computer but access was then very limited so instead I simplified my ideas and laboriously drew them in ink on tracing paper.

Contrafactum was a simpler proposition as I based it on a rondeau by Machaut just substituting (hence contrafactum) the notes for bird, butterflies and flowers according to a simple scheme.

About then started to appear the first of my many landscapes in disguise. I called this first group, which occupied me for 8 years, 'Reflections from a view'. A set of portraits of the Viennese triumvirate: 'Song to the dancer' then followed. This took me three years after many false starts and dead ends, the third 'Berg' painting never being finished to my satisfaction.

'Kinds of Flowers' started as a transcription of some Javanese music and subsequently lead to many varied watercolours all based on small overlaid elements slightly reminiscent of Celtic knot-work.

'Ossias' were a bi-product of a commission for a day book; not thinking my first version would transfer to print I made an 'Ossia', didn't stop and ended up with 34 paintings!

European pastorals are the culmination of the technique based on musical structures that so many of the previous works had developed. Events stopped the continuation of this group and I still think I will one day go back and develop them further.


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or you can continue with some notes about specific paintings:-

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Eye Music.

I found it possible to work out a logical sequence as to how a line was drawn; It could be exactly drawn or with different degrees of freedom introduced from (1) no freedom to (9) total freedom. Therefore you had a set of marks that moved away from repetition, and that could be numerically described. In Eye Music this is taken a lot further with the thickness of line, position and direction of the marks being controlled but the degree of description varying in12 degrees from precise to variable, It needed a computer to work it out, which, of course, was not then available so I simplified the idea and did it all by hand.

Contrafactum.

Many secular songs exist with the texts replaced by religious words, rather like the churches capture and subversion of all our seasonal festivals. This was the third of my Contrafactum which uses a rondeau by Machaut (1300-1377) on "My end is my beginning." I had no idea at the time hat Elliot had used the same words in the Four Quartets.

Reflections from a View.

4 of these took me a whole year of constant work to do, so many discarded idea. The views in question are around the Estuary of the River Kent.

Hagoromo.

A group of paintings based on a Japanese Noh play. The goddess dances to persuade the fishermen to return her cloak of feathers that would enable her to return to heaven.

Precision & the Spirit.

14 or more paintings with many discarded, all from my passion for the writing of Robert Musil. The original of the title is the ironic " We must set up a general secretariat for precision and the spirit" That is,a government department to oppose the division of the modern mind into rational, logical against emotional, metaphysical.

Song to the Dancer.

"Lulu merely had to get up and dance to refute the philosopher" but I could not remember where the quote came and still cannot! They were intended as portraits of Hofmanstall (ironic) Schoenberg, Webern and Berg. They took a very long time to complete.

Kind of Flowers.

Based on Gamalan music, Later I did go on to play in a gamalan group. Intricate interweaving of lines of motifs the overlaying pushing Watercolour to its limit and beyond.

Ribblehead.

A large group of watercolours all based on a well known view. Settle- Carlisle is the railway that crosses the famous viaduct that like Whernside is always visible somewhere in these paintings.

Clouds shadow the landscape.

A group of composers portraits all using small repeated motifs that are overlaid thus varying the density of what you can see.

Where gentle voices lament / Where stars shed fire flakes.

Stefan George The book of Hanging Gardens came to me via Schoenberg. Many watercolours around this period start to have a more improvised structure that echo the darker emotional state I inhabited then.

Ossia.

Despair about never being able to start another painting was broken by this simple sequence.

European Pastoral.

It is a obvious continuation of earlier things, e.g. The structure is not far removed from 'Kinds of Flowers'. But they have a clarity of purpose that is new.

Libre mais Regular / 7 Voices/La lecture.

Numbers 8,9 & 10 from the group known as "Studies in counterpoint". These are from "Precision and the Spirit" out of "European Pastoral" crossed with "Eye Music".

9 or more lines / for Aldo Clementi.

2 very confident paintings and then I came to a halt whilst attempting Praha which remains unfinished to this day. Thought I would not paint again.

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