Making a painting & comparing paintings over time

P1230514 A4

Here an unusual pallet that I have found several years ago with a collaboration in mind: painting to music. Following an introduction to the American musician Michael Mc Evoy, we discussed making a collaboration, my responsive painting and his responsive music piece inspired by his Terra Cognita album composition, the multi watercolour pallet seemed ideal for the trial run, initially intended in a church in Hampstead. The fuller plan included suggestion to visit Antarctica and make a fuller collaborative piece there, relating to the global concern about the melting of the ice caps, that is directly referred to in his Terra- Cognita album composition and sound track,  . A project that has yet to be realised.

The pallet allows me to work quickly with watercolour, giving a good measure of premixed colour and spontaneity for the response to music.


Now with a large enough studio space, it seems using the pallet is possible, although my initial response is only to the sense of time, although a dimly audible accordion player was audible rising up from the street below.

I have recorded photos of some of the stages to the piece from the oyster pallet. After several layers and finishing, I found the colour too high, and was compelled to try toning over, but the particular technique I used gave a shadow effect, rather than the modulation of colour that I preferred.




Almost telling I completed the piece on the twenty fourth of June, using acrylic paints over some of the watercolour. Saying that…….does not explain the complex and difficult process to completion, or explain the number of times the painting was nearly lost…. At this historic time perhaps it is interesting to look back to an earlier work and compare.

painting 1 7 16 a4painting 6 2 95 a4_edited-1








I chose this painting piece from 1995, because it is nearby, it sits next to my bed and sits on top of a 4” deep Daler Rowney cardboard box about the same size as the painting. (This useful box given to me by Coventry Art Supplies then of Spon St.) The painting is one of perhaps fifty that I made of that time, it is one of the largest of the sequence, ….the rest are very small oil paintings; thirty are packed inside the Daler Rowney box.

Looking at the back lit j peg on the web you cannot see the surface quality or realise the image. The oil painting is as much an object and thing as well as an image, and the sense of materials are very important to the appreciation of the piece.

The surface of the paint is smooth, colour vibrates and rhythms give a space of the imagination, one that you can look into and find the limitlessness of time and space.

The character of the piece is one of my favourites, warm and encouraging, with confidence and understanding of possibility. Perhaps the sense of release from the small paintings gave a freedom to it.

The small paintings are perhaps of interest at this time, so I will return to mention of them.  A performance artist visiting my painting room then (mid-nineties) and looking at my largest painting commented that they liked the small figure painting with in it, and thought these more successful. I do not always respond to feedback however the appeal was made emotionally, and seemed to catch my interest, prompting me to take on a challenge to make a sequence of small painting, with an interest in making a subsequent collaboration with performance art.

I devised a short document that went a little poetic to outline the idea of a painting and performance tour. To travel around the coast showing the small paintings & performing art. Being as there was no real reason to decide where the tour should stop I devised the exhibition to travel around the outline of the UK coast and then the European coast, perhaps further. Which leads to our current interests.

A difficult time followed, a fire in the adjacent house led to water damage from the fire hoses, followed by a break-in at a house where I was using a computer to devise the exhibition details, led to the loss of the computer documents and details. Then the attempted move to a new flat led to many years of wasted time trying to respond to endless nuisances caused by a seriously deliberate problem neighbour. Delays.

The paintings are still mostly intact, and soon exhibitions at   will be taken down  whilst the small works are gradually developed into its new gallery spaces, and these will be showing  soon.

So comparing these two pieces – twenty one years apart nearly, may show something about abstraction painting, time, space & place?


  • Some related album pieces by Michael J Mc Evoy from his Terra Cognita Album listen to a track from of the same title.






About Mark Stammers

Is a Visual & Fine Artist making abstract Sculpture & Painting, public art and commissions.
This entry was posted in artist new work, comparing painting, Exhibitions, in the studio, Paintings, the process of painting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s