Borderlands IV

The last painting has been completed, the fourth in the series collectively titled Borderlands, and based on the model I built for the stage presentation of the chamber-work, The Mare’s Tale. The framing is all done. The works await packing and delivery to the gallery. The exhibition opens a week today. I’m done.


Borderlands IV

Acrylic on gessoed panel – 38 x 38 cm – 2014

Borderlands III

Acrylic on gessoed panel – 38 x 38 cm – 2014

Borderlands II

Acrylic on gessoed panel – 38 x 38 cm – 2014

Borderlands I

Acrylic on gessoed panel – 38 x 38 cm – 2014

The model

17 thoughts on “Borderlands IV

  1. Pingback: Making again | Hedgecrows

  2. Very striking images, Clive. I am really interested in the perspective of this most recent one- 4. You give me a lot to think about in how you approach your work. Thank you for showing the model in this context as well.

    • Jack, I’ve long made articulated maquettes of people and animals that I work from when I make my paintings, and I’ve frequently used toy building-blocks to create the architecture of my compositions. This model was made and then filmed for The Mare’s Tale, so that projections of it could fill the stage. I was thinking of the various aspects of Welsh architecture and topography that are so much a part of my visual lexicon: the castle with it’s ruined curtain-wall, the crumbling and truncated viaduct, the plain chapel with its arched windows, and the numerous coal-mining communities that cling to the hillsides of the industrial south. (The coal-mines of my childhood are long gone, but the mining-towns and villages remain, though much changed.) The model was a boiling down of many elements. Not one, real place, but a kind of collage of shapes and feelings.

      Its original purpose met, it sat in my studio gathering dust. I started drawing it. It was already expressively distorted, and in my drawings I pushed things further. I love the way I can sail over and around it, viewing it from every possible angle and finding new ways to express well-loved shapes. I think that I’ll never tire of playing with it in these ways, and I have plans to build more.

      Try the idea for yourself. I worked quickly in cardboard, brown-paper gum-strip and paint. It was the work of a couple of days… though the observations in it had been going on all my life. I get distracted when I go out to draw in the real world. But here in the studio, I re-create the real world (or rather my version of it) through the filter of imagination, and the results fuel the creative fire to a blaze!

  3. Excited for you, Clive! It is always amazing to step back in that gallery and see what you have done. I wish I could be there to see, too!

  4. Congratulations on getting it all done Clive!
    that feeling of ‘tired relief’ after a period of intense emotional and physical labour is quite an underrated emotional state in my opinion (aside from the sensation of jangled nerves and listlessness) i’m sure it won’t be long before you are gearing up for the next big project (or projects, more likely 🙂 )

    • Thank you Francesca. BIG relief to have got to this stage. Three months ago I could barely sleep for anxiety about needed to be done. But the fact is that like taxes, it’s worse putting off the moment than getting down to the task. Once I was at the easel, inspiration loaned me wings! (-;

      I was thinking of you the other day when I was excavating memories re my cousin Katy. I recall you came for a meal… can’t recall whether it was lunch or dinner… when she stayed with us at Plasturton Avenue one Christmas. I’ve remembered correctly, haven’t I?


  5. I love this series you have created. Have you thought of creating postcards or greeting cards using your artwork? Favourite one? ooh I think Borderlands III; they would be great as a group together I hope someone buys them and displays them like that. Hope it goes really well. I’m frustrated here as I had two blogs I’d started via WordPress and I can’t log in to them because my phone stopped working and the numerical codes I need are not being sent to my new phone so im locked out of my own blogs grrr. Working on getting them back though may just have to start a new one. Anyway enough of that have a great exhibition, look forward to hearing all about it.

    • Jacqui, I haven’t made postcards of my work for the longest time. The only opportunities I have for selling cards… and books, come to that… are during exhibitions, and those are few and far between given that I usually manage a one-person exhibition every one-to-two years. Were I to generate postcards for sale they’d need distributing and the stock out there would have to be kept track of, as everything these days is ‘sale or return’. All that would be a massive strain on my time.

      Upstairs in the studio I have boxes containing hundreds, if not thousands of postcards and blank greetings-cards bearing images of my paintings. They’re what remain from our now defunct but previously long-term custom of producing a card every Christmas for our own use, but over-ordering so that we had plenty for sale. (Last Christmas we went over to e-mail.) I think the only way to market them would be if I set up an Etsy shop, but frankly I’d rather spend the time at the easel.

      Good luck with your blogs. I’m sure you’ll get them up and running again soon.

  6. Well done! I haven’t read your last couple of blogs yet, I need to catch up. But I had it say you have done wonderfully well. How will you stop painting? No , I think you will carry on, you’ll just have to use one brush!xxL

    • It’s true, I intend to continue painting intensively. I need to start right now building my stock in preparation for when the next exhibition is due. The past weeks have been massively productive, but it was quite a strain to be working so relentlessly.

      We also need to be thinking about a holiday. We’re both pretty wiped out from work.

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