Drawing Day:

Sometimes things work out just right and there is nothing that has to be done for deadlines or other commitments and I have the day free for drawing. Today is one of those days, nice. Have been working on some fairly detailed pen and ink sketches of wildlife just lately and so think I am going to take some large sheets of paper and a drawing board out with me and get some rough sketches of cattle.

A friend gave me a set of Architects pens a couple of years ago and I have always intended getting around to using them, I like drawing animals so I started with some local wildlife. The images I work from are simply obtained on the internet.

Will post some of the “plein aire” sketches made of cattle this evening.

The Alternative Village Fete

I visited the Alternative Village Fete at Tattershall Castle today, a contemporary art event which was well worth the visit. There is a new piece by Tod Hanson which was commissioned for the event, I don’t know how long it will be there but it is an excellent piece of work. Have no photos of the piece but the image below is an earlier work by Hanson which I have always liked.

This was my first visit to Tattershall castle and I live in Lincolnshire, I will be going back. Like many contemporary arts events some of the events are exciting and inspirational, but others leave me wondering why the artist’s bothered, but then the value in art is purely subjective on the intellectual and connectivity levels and so what is one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

There are probably quite a few who view my own art in a negative light!

Diamond Jubilee Event.

We had the monthly Parish Council Meeting on Tuesday night, (I am a Parish Councilor), and we made some steps towards having an event on the Village green next year to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. This could be great fun. We have had offers of support from various families in the village and so will hopefully be able to get a first Event meeting set up before Christmas to get the ball rolling.

The main concern of the meeting was the planning application for an Anaerobic Digester to be sited in Addlethorpe Business Park,  the Parish Council objected to the proposal (unanimously), for many reasons, poor infrastructure, we have small village roads and large lorries impact adversely on road edges, there has been no Environmental Impact assessment and Lincolnshire County Council are having problem with odour and noise at a site in the south of the county. The digesters and so presumably the generators will be working 24/7, the waste is being collected from local caravan site and so will have through it glass and aluminium which will need to be sorted and that waste removed from the site. Because of the nature of the waste there is concern that the rats and flies problems that were there in the past will return. The primary cause for concern is the sites close proximity to local houses, 7 houses within 150mts and 50+ within 250mts, and European guideline propose that there should be no private dwellings within 250mts of Anaerobic Digesters.. East Lindsey District Council defered its decision and the planning application will be heard again in November.

We will keep you posted.

The current project.

I am working towards an exhibition at the Red Dot Gallery in Lincoln in May, I am making a series of paintings which reflect work in the agricultural sector. I live and work in a rural community, and it is nice to create work that reflects what goes on around me. Work that feeds the country and makes the landscape what it is. The first work is not in my own local community but is based on the apple harvest at a friends farm in Oize, France, a place I have loved visiting for years now.

I was over there a couple of weeks ago and made a few sketches and took some photographs, while watching and sketching the machine that aides the pickers, I was struck by the difference of the solid linear appearance of the machine and the natural shapes and curves of fruit and trees, and so was drawn to a cubist style of painting which I will use throughout the series looking at various crops being harvested.

  This is the machine that allows the pickers to continually pick apples making the process much quicker.

There are three levels for pickers to stand on so that all the tree is reached easily and the moving arms take the apples gently to a central conveyer belt where the are gently led to a large rotating storage box at the back of the machine.

Below are initial sketches made on site.

Charcoal Sketch of machine and pickers.
Initial Sketches from around the farm.
The very first stage of painting, once the drawing had been transferred to the canvas

The shapes I am using are quite definite, and so when I use the term cubist I use it quite loosely, because I want them quite define, even at this under-painting stage I find I am only able to cover a quarter of the canvas each day, so this could take about three weeks to finish.

Had a good day today and got a bit more done! I will post another image in a couple of days so that you can watch it develop.

An introduction to my work.

I am interested in how we experience life and all its influences,our influence on our community whether large or small, our communities historical influence on ourselves, the effect of narrative and meta-narratives, what we learn, what we believe and how we reach those beliefs, in short what makes us who we are.

This first example of my work is an installation from eighteen months ago, more details about my work can be found on my website at www.malcolmtait.co.uk. There are all ready enough theories, ideas, beliefs, information about how they are reached, etc. etc in all media these days as well as the internet so once this introduction to my work is over I shall endeavour to concentrate on the work I make and why I made it and leave the work to speak for itself with minimal in depth analysis, I make work because I am an artist. The piece below is an introduction to the maker in me.

“The quest of Alonso Quijano in the post-modern; escape from the guardians”. explores the relationship between today’s many “Establishments” and ourselves,  the control they exert and our ongoing struggle to favour the ideals we like and challenge those with which we disagree with. The piece comprises a figure made from pages of the Encyclopaedia Britannica seeking to escape undesired authority, but tied to its influence through the narratives and history  recorded with language. The work also explores  the subtle ways in which language and its functional mechanisms influences our actions and the choices we make.

The second work is a set of four abstract panels “Tidal Variations”.

 This piece was created through an examination of determinist principles. The shape of the waters edges is based on a graph of a roughly two week repeating pattern of tidal variations, the peaks and troughs vary in size with each passing cycle but the shape remains the same. On each panel is a small irregular coloured shape representing an object found on Skegness beach at that time in the cycle. These can be seen more easily in the larger individual panel pages. This work is available with each of the four found objects.

Tommorow I will introduce you to a new series of paintings I am making.