Each month we’re asking one of our tutors to tell us about a picture or painting that has inspired them. This month we asked Frui Director, James Lockett, about his painting…
Process painting is when the subject of the painting is about how the painting is made. It usually involves experimentation with techniques and the paint itself.
As a painter I am less interested in using paint as a medium to depict something, and much more interested in how the physical paint interacts with the surface – how does a painter paint a picture of nothing? These are the questions that excite me, and it’s something that forced the modernist painters in the 50s and 60s to the point of destruction.
In this painting by Jason Martin he made a huge metal comb which he dragged in one solid movement across the face of an aluminium ‘canvas’ thickly coated in paint. It’s in a similar vein to the ‘action painters’ such as Jackson Pollock. But where Martin is different is in his relationship to time. He does not use spontaneous gestures, but slowly reworks his image over time. You get a real sense of layering. The paint becomes the subject.
Martin’s is a painters painting. It’s not afraid of the past and the difficult questions which the medium often has to answer. It very much lives in the present. It’s really about nothing other than the paint and you, but at the same time adds up to more than the sum of its parts. That’s why, for me, it’s a really great painting.