So Not Over It

While working on my adaptation of Jean Ray's Malpertuis, i made a lot of false starts with sequences just aimlessly prowling about the hallways & surrounding grounds of the eponymous mansion, taking atmosphere shots; most eventually ended up on the cutting room floor. These paintings are an attempt, in a sense, to have my cake after eating it, and consitute a kind of inverse prefatory sketches. There is a ( for my purposes at least ) crucial line in Ray's book- "When all these people are dead I will marry you"- and ideally the adaptation would have been a tour of the empty house after this union had been attained. But there were other considerations that prevailed.

At one point i decided it would be nice to have the paintings reflect some of the German expressionist film aesthetic we all know & love so much, by 'tinting' them through the use of coloured plexiglass the way Dreyer and Murnau used tints for dream scenes. It would also neatly obscure the mark-making process of the paintings and give them a finish at odds with their looseness. But this brings with it the problem how to place the plexiglass over the painting; i would have to frame them & frames, as we all know, are old-fashioned and ungainly things. We look at things through other things all the time these days. We need less framing, not more. 


I remember when studying painting i frequently incurred the ire of my teachers by cropping, i.e. sawing off, the parts of the painting it didn't need. This, i was told, was not how to compose; i ought to have planned better. Go tell it to film editors or to novelists chopping up their third drafts. The way i see it, this is exactly what composition means.


Still my favourite collaborator ( but then of course the dead can't complain about how i misinterpret them can they ). I have contributed a visual essay, about my first encounter with the great Welshman's work, to the autumn issue of Faunus, the journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen society.  An interpretation of Machen's prose-poem "Midsummer" will feature in the exhibition catalogue of curator Una Hamilton-Helle's travelling "Waking The Witch" show. Is it significant that the only two projects i took on this year that actually came to something are those placed in a non-comics context? If a literary magazine and a contemporary art publication show more interest in left-field comic making than the comic scene itself, we deserve all the corporate spider-man drivel that we get. 
This medium is its own worst enemy. 

Recent Work

It appears i've started painting again, which, as far as medium is concerned, is the same hole, only larger.