Ivan Grieve Devon, United Kingdom
Working with a range of materials I develop surfaces through sensory expressions, that evolve into portraits and landscapes. These become dynamic and intimate works that emerge from gestural mark making and experimentation with pigments and grounds. Self-portraits begin with a process of tactile observation of my own face. . Landscapes are documented through sketches on site throughout the seasons
Landscapes are documented through sketches on site with charcoal, liquid graphite and pencil. I also make minor interventions with natural materials at the site to get in touch with the environment that I am working with. Returning to the studio I begin working on Fabriano paper using materials gathered from the landscape including feathers, clay, mud and leaves, adding studio materials and pigments including Bideford Black, Shellac and Gesso leading me to to build an expression of my experience in the landscape.I admire the work of Anselm Kieffer, John Virtue and Frank Auerbach.I continue to refer to my site drawing and begin work with Rembrandt pastels on a variety of surfaces with a good key to allow layering of colour and tone.
Creating a series of drawings of landscapes through the seasons has allowed me to realise which details sum up the season. There maybe colours, patterns or rhythms that occur and reoccur each year and conversely there may well be some that simply disappear from one year to the next. A winter skyline, patterns of fields, a woodland with Ash die back, all are subtle changes that may feature. In the studio I work with small acrylic painting to create seasonal snap shots of the passing months, like Polaroid images of a past event, a nostalgia emerges. These small acrylics are the base for my current projects paintings.
Self-portraits begin with a process of tactile observation of my own face, translating that onto paper to see what emerges from my fingertips. I turn in profile to the paper, to start exploring my head, holding the charcoal quite loosely to make marks on the paper scanning the head through intuitive processes as opposed to observational study. I develop a series of studies that are laid horizontally onto a panoramic sequence of paper. The images are then examined in detail to draw out a pattern in the chaos; some recognition of human forms such as a brow or lip. These develop into a series of drawings that are self-portraits that become aspects of myself. Human feelings, how they change, from one moment to another get my attention. I use materials and techniques to express this in my work. I have referred to the work of Rembrandt, Giacometti, Topolski and more recently Auerbach and Kossoff . Mainly figurative work; developing a portrait style that is focused on conveying an emotional demeanour, how a subject feels to me.
Projects and exhibitions
01/06/2022 — ongoing
The foundation for this project started months back in the early days of winter 2021. Continual learning and experimenting have encouraged to keep the project going through one year and maybe more of seasonal changes. The colours and shapes surface patterns and marks are becoming clearer and more confident. The idea of seasonal swatches of...[Read more]
21/03/2022 — 01/06/2022
Having really enjoyed developing the format and experimentation during the winter months I decided to continue to make a spring seasonal exploration. Still using found site specific pigments with found site specific tools to initiate my field sketches. I begun to develop drawings and to use different formats and media.
31/10/2021 — 21/03/2022
Researching and making visual notes of a season in Devon. I returned frequently to the same spot to observe and listen, taking in the sense of place during a season. Through each season I try and get a “feel” of the season to be represented from the drawings into some paintings.