It’s not quite true to say, as I did at the end of my ‘plenitude of art’ blog a few days ago, that I have done little recent painting. I meant I had done little artistic painting. In fact, I had done a lot of painting out of doors – first, the two up-and-over garage doors of my studio, now gloriously, double-coated white, and then my two wooden garden sheds. These latter were new a year ago so, after letting them weather, it was time to creosote them; so both are now gloriously black.
My beautiful main, slightly space-age, black shed, with corner of smaller shed in right background and curvaceously contrapuntal green water butt in foreground
I wondered, after my ‘little painting’ remark, why my painting of the sheds was not ‘artistic’; or at least why the result was not ‘art’. And then I started toying with the idea that it was indeed art, in two senses.
First, merely by putting black creosote on a differentially absorbent surface, coating most of it twice for purely functional reasons, I produced some interestingly different textures, differences which were amplified by different light reflections picked up by the camera when I came to photograph them in detail:
Two greys and parallel lines
Two blacks and parallel lines
An interesting artistic effect could also be created by juxtaposition with an adjacent shape, as with the water butt in the first photograph above, with a green weed above right, and with a wall in this ‘geometric study with brickwork effect and oblique parallel grooves’ below:
Second, overall the side-by-side sheds lend themselves to an interesting linear composition of shapes, colours, planes and textures:
Any doubts I had about the potential arty nature of my artisanal work were dispelled when I happened to see a dreadful BBC TV programme about a sort of artistic fashion in the early 20th century called ‘Dada’ (or was it ‘ga ga’?). It advocated, I gathered, that essentially anything goes i.e. if the artist says this urinal is art, then it is. My sheds, even without the black creosote, fall well within that definition. Creosoted, they clearly are masterpieces, though I accept some delay is inevitable before this is accepted.
Nevertheless, apparently my late summer has not been entirely wasted creatively after all. Meanwhile, I am relieved to say, I have knocked off several new, more conventional pieces of art of the sort you can hang on walls; of which, more anon.