HSOA Patron Alan Gouk has an upcoming exhibition at Linden Hall Studio in Deal, Kent. Below, Alan talks of the process and inspiration behind his new work.
"At the last talk I gave at Hampstead School of Art I remember being asked if I ever painted on board, and I said no, because I didn’t like the streaky brushwork (thinking of other practitioners who favoured board.) But then I saw some paintings by Alan Davie, which had none of those flaws. And with lockdown I came across some white coated mdf, the kind used for kitchen cabinets, and gave it a whirl.
I was surprised to find how direct my attack became, “utter directness” in Heron’s mantra, how the resistance of the board enabled an immediacy and finality of each stroke, and how scraping out with palette knives brought one back to that resistance , allowing an element of direct incisive drawing that is harder to sustain on the more yielding canvas. And there need not be any streaking effects if one varied the consistency of paints with turpentine.
It took me back to some of the innocence of the earliest paintings I ever did, when I painted on hardboard offcuts, and I explored these early connections in a variety of styles, converting what had been palettes for larger paintings into palette knifed encrustations, or else thinning them down in free association and accepting the results. Free of grandiose or “serious” ambitions, these little pictures attest to my own mantra — make a statement, trust what you do, and do it more."
Recent Small Paintings at Linden Hall Studio is running from 28th September-16th October 2021.