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Notice To Quit

Studio Logs

JP Delaney
Notice To Quit

I'm pretty sure that landlords dislike artists... I was thinking in the studio after having received a notice to quit the apartment we were living in.

An hour or more passed during which time I had unconsciously torn a piece of paper and continued to roll it back and forth between my fingers. I suppose it is a sort of nervous reaction to a familiar sense of desperation.

How many times have I been asked to leave the multitude of run-down apartments I've occupied - I suspect - once the landlord finds out I'm a painter? Since I was 18 in my first rented flat on the quays in Dublin, I've had nothing but problems with the owners.

It's not that I ruin their property - I've never had the money to have a separate studio from where I live, and the sight of the mounting objects makes them highly uneasy, I guess.

Anyway, after a couple of hours of not very profiltable wondering what to do next, I glanced down at the thing in my hand.


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Studio Logs

2005-10-31

2005-10-31

I seem to recall musing over the tiny paper roll in my palm, and deciding to keep for another day. I placed it by itself in a metal box, sealed it and left it at that.

It wasn't until a couple of years later that I found the box again and opened it in a new space I was slowly establishing.

And so I'm thinking of basing a new work on this. It's little to go by, I know, and may not lead anywhere. I'm presuming the contrary however as I've clearly kept it so carefully for a reason.

Comments
Hillel Kagan
2012-01-30 00:58

This sculpture project seems to be your most successful, at least from the point of view of by passing your usual torturous process and getting from beginning to end logically and peacefully. Could it have something to do with your use of the tiny maquette? I'm not aware of you doing it elsewhere. Your usual practice resulting in sculptures that fall down unexpectedly necessitating structural changes or the building of additional supports that change your initial conception. Maybe you should make a practice of starting out with maquettes or would that ruin the element of the unexpected you seem so attached to.

JP Delaney
2012-01-30 21:44

You're right - chance, happenstance, the unexpected, whatever you like to call it, I'm always on the lookout for.
Nevertheless, were I to build a maquette, that would end up being the end piece - and hopefully some element of the unexpected would have been encountered in it's making. I just wouldn't have the interest to do the same thing again, only bigger or with different material.
In this case, the roll of paper was like a talisman, the unexpected discovery of a forgotten item that had some significance for me, and the ensuing work was some kind of exercise to try and materialize that meaning. I happened to make use of the form of the paper roll, but that does not necessarily translate to a direct correlation between form and some idea of meaning in all cases. Mostly, I'd have an image in my head for which a few sketches would suffice, and I'd proceed then with the actual realization which oftentimes, would end up, as you have noted, being different from the preliminary drawings (as something's collapsed - lucky I didn't go for civil engineering!).
Why did this one see completion? (btw, I don't actually think it's a successful piece). I think at that time I was coming to the understanding that I'd never be a recognized artist, and the "Notice To Quit" became a notice to quit thinking of myself as being an artist, an idea which I was determined at all costs to resist. Secondly, it had to be done for our show in Trapani. As luck would have it, due to all the in-fighting at the time over space, I didn't even get to exhibit it with you guys, but instead ended up the next day in some hilltop unused church that no-one visited, and even managed to arrive too late for the opening.
Needless to say, were I a stupendously rich successful artist all I'd do is make maquettes and give them to my team of assistants and tell them to make me this only 20 times bigger!


2005-11-02

2005-11-02

Unusually I didn't do any preliminary drawings, and instead just launched into hacking away at the wire. I'm thinking of a 3-dimensional painted piece along the lines of recent work. It will be the first piece to actually begin in this so-called studio space (otherwise I've been completing projects started in other locations), and so it has an added significance for me.

Here's a couple of images as it began. Using the available length of the garage space, roughly cutting through the wire to arrive at a point.

Although this first group of entries for this project are posted together - they actually span a few weeks work. I've had to wait until I'd finished the STUDIO LOG part of the website before I could begin posting these images.

Comments

2005-11-03

2005-11-03

Here I added some ridges to support the top layer, then the top layer.

Usually I'm lost when it comes to giving a title to the things I'm doing, but this one was easy - triggered by the circumstance.

As a title it takes on added meaning considering the pretty constant "notices to quit being a painter" one receives.

Comments

2005-11-03

2005-11-03

After adding the edges, I roll it up.

Comments

2005-11-03

2005-11-03

And so I start preparing the base layer of glue and paper.
I need to create a firm base on which I can apply the jute afterwards, so when the paper covering is finished, I'll apply a coat of gesso so it's ready for the jute cloth.

I find it vaguely interesting here that from a paper fragment I'm building a metal object, but then covering it again with paper.

Comments

2005-11-06

2005-11-06

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle this one as it progresses. It looks like it'll have to unroll to some extent for when I put the later layers of gesso and jute. I had sort of intended it to be a fixed static piece all rolled up and unmoving but after this first approach I'm having a rethink and see that I need to let it open out a bit.

Here's a couple of views as it's standing on it's side waiting for the glue to dry...

Comments

2005-11-17

2005-11-17

This photo was taken last week. I'd just completed the first coat of gesso. As the surface was still pretty weak, I decided I'd have to apply another layer of paper and another coat of gesso before starting the jute layer.

I've slowed down these past few days, spending little time in the studio. I'm wondering what I'm doing now I've finished the studio log program work on the site. I suppose my idea was as I'm isolated doing this stuff - I don't know any artists here, and have no involvement with the art world - this might be a way of communicating or simply documenting the process. Should any artist get interested enough to start his/her studio log too then that might be a way to start some dialogue. Hmm... let's see.

Instead of posting yet another photo of the work-in-progress, I thought I'd put an image of the gesso making. Ingredients are glue (animal based, once known as rabbit-skin glue), boiled linseed oil, zinc oxide, and calcium carbonate (chalk powder). All heated up to create the white mixture that's traditionally used as a ground for canvases.

Comments

2005-11-23

2005-11-23

After a second layer of paper and gesso, I wondered how it would look opened out and simply hung on the wall. Most of the stuff I do now goes through something similar as in this place space is a premium, and if I can hang something on a wall somewhere then it's more likely to find a home.

Semina won't allow me to bring up any more of that junk (as she calls it) into the house. Here's an image of a previous apartment we lived in. It was nice and big and I proceded to fill it the way I like. Unfortunately it didn't appeal to everyone.

Comments

2005-11-29

2005-11-29

Now I've begun applying the jute. You can make out the green bag markings of Pakistani basmati rice. I'd like to leave the work like that - those warm sombre browns are appealingly evocative. However I'm driven to drag this one down again into my personal mire.

Comments

2005-12-04

2005-12-04

Well it looks like the piece has become too heavy to hang so it has now returned to it's previous rolled-up state.
December now, very wet and cold and it's taking ages to dry, so I'm going to leave the jute and glue for a week or so as the more I work on it now, the more I end up undoing what I've just done.
Looking at the work now, I'm reminded of a newspaper photo of the war in Yugoslavia of the body of an old woman lying by the desolate roadside of midday. She had been murdered by a sniper. In the background a volkswagen golf speeds by without bothering to stop - perhaps to avoid more bullets.
She had wrapped up from head to foot against the bitter Sarajevo winter, and there was some young guy there to pick her off. What a victory.
Some years ago I met a man in Tirana who had survived (and fought) the years of the seige of Sarajevo. He told me of coach tours from Belgrade would come to pass the weekend to amuse themselves as snipers sharp-shooting at the habitants of the beseiged city.

Comments

2005-12-19

Applying gesso on the jute. It'll a week to 10 days or so of applying layers and drying between them. It's a pretty messy stage. Right now it's unrolled, but will probably return to being rolled up again for the final gesso coating. I'm anxious to start painting now - I've had enough of the building process for this work. It'll probably be the new year before I finally get to apply some oil colour.

Comments

2006-01-19

2006-01-19

Comments

2006-02-01

Well, I think I'm just about ready to go with the painting of this. There's one other piece under construction (still untitled, it's the tall zig-zag upright work) that's taking up a lot of space in the little garage I work in, so I want to bring that to some completed stage before I return to my notice to quit.

Comments

2006-02-19

So finally the first tentative daubs are applied... this begins the mapping out stage where I get to understand the extend of the object and the nature of the surface with which I'm working.

Comments
Hillel Kagan
2012-01-30 01:12

I'm still hard pressed to see why you seem to need to apply your painting process to the sculptures. The illusionist planes and forms of the painted surface take away from the elegant planes and forms of the sculpture itself. If you had seen it at the time and decided to explore the suggestion of a prone figure hit by a sniper I could see the use of paint as a funky way of furthering and enhancing that vision.


2006-03-14

2006-03-14

Comments

2006-04-19

2006-04-19

Comments

2006-05-24

2006-05-24

Here I'm showing off my newly-constructed revolving base. I noticed in the local hardware store they rolled out the merchandise for display in front of the shop on these things. Inspired by that idea, I bummed a wooden pallet, bought some wheels - and presto! Finally I can swing the work around easily in the studio.
I find it really difficult to paint a three-dimensional object - it changes every time you look at it from a different angle. It's a much different challenge than working with a flat surface, and I feel I've still a long way to go before I learn to deal successfully with this aspect.

Comments

2006-10-09

2006-10-09

Jeroen Witvliet, describing the process of art making (the subject of the proposed curatorial theme) says:

"..It becomes almost like a conversation with someone you have just met. Slowly and over a given time, you start to learn more about the other person."

This work has become like a person I've chosen to ignore these past four months. Or maybe someone I've been avoiding confronting. That, allied to a difficulty in building a discipline or routine, has me spending time in the studio where I know I'm just wasting time trying to force the moment to settle at a lower level of consciousness (less stressed might be a better way of putting it) when you can enter into the relationship of the painter and the painting.

You can tell I'm not making much progress...

Comments

2007-01-07

2007-01-07

Some years ago, I took up the habit of writing a simple studio log. I'd write down the number of hours I spent each day, some notes on progress, ideas for new works etc. Reading back over what I'd written revealed a litany of how I failed to spend time in the studio, wasn't getting the work done, and how pointless it all seemed. It turned out to be pretty depressing and repetitive reading in the end.
Nevertheless, I believe that working in isolation benefits from such an approach. Keeping a track of activity (even when there's none) at least concentrates the mind for a few minutes, and maybe helps build resolve for the next day. I suppose it's a bit like a cross between robinson crusoe and alcoholics anonymous - therapy for the condemned.
I've been a little reticent about taking the same approach with this online version... but am coming to the conclusion that I shouldn't bother with what others will think - if it's boring, it's boring, and they'll just go elsewhere. I should try make it useful for myself as a more regular activity.
Anyway, coming back to this work. I'm well over a year working on it! That's a pretty sobering thought. What the hell am I doing with my time? What's more, I'm so erratic about work. Weeks will go by without even picking up a brush. That's bad for my health, physical and mental, and I make those around me suffer too because of it.
I'm still not convinced by the painterly approach for the sculpture. I'd much prefer to work on the 3D part and coat it in monochrome in the end. I find it's almost impossible to paint in three dimensions - every time I move around the sculpture, the painted image changes, and it's incredibly difficult to maintain a "whole", or a balance, when dealing with surfaces that aren't flat and limited by straight lines.
I will go on (with this useless enterprise).
I think what's required is more frequent early morning work - getting up at three am, and spending those first few hours on what's most important (at least I claim) in my day.
Silence, concentrated stillness, enter into the spirit of the piece, or somesuch, whatever that means.
And time is passing... this is the first of two pieces I'd like to bring to Trapani. In March I need to make the photos for the catalog so there's much to do before I can get them in any fit state for photographing... Eeek!

Comments

2007-03-26

2007-03-26

Like with many other works I do, I don't come to an end - it just feels like I run out of steam... it's a suitable finish for this one that has simply come to a halt, and collapsed on the floor.

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Studio Logs