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AngerManagement.1.Buziak.2

This acrylic painting was made on a 80 x 60 cms (31.5 x 23.5 inches) canvas at the weekend after having an unusually bad dream during the night. I rarely dream, and when I do from what I can remember they are in monochrome, but this time I awoke with the colours of flesh pink and red blood swimming in my head! My dream was not of gore, but more of witnessing my own death… not falling, but being sucked from a height onto a studio floor covered with tubes of acrylics. Then, I read somewhere that over the weekend ‘Pluto was no longer Retrograde’ and whilst unsure of the implication of that celestial happening, it could have triggered a malfunction in my subconscious brainwaves.

So, being curious, on The Psychics Universe site I read…

“Pluto in Retrograde – Most planets in retrograde are somewhat reversed—that is, their influences can be fairly opposite of what they are normally. In Pluto’s case, when in retrograde, its influences are not reversed or opposite; rather, it seems to go into overdrive.

It can be very intense and even more fearsome. As Pluto direct forces us to face challenges outside of ourselves, Pluto retrograde forces you to look inside of yourself and face challenges. This can sometimes be unnerving, because the transformations we undergo under the influence of Pluto retrograde tend to require a complete breakdown of the old ways and ideas before we can move forward again.

Pluto brings us face to face with our shadow self. We often consider the shadow self the “dark side”. It’s our negative emotions and desires that we oppress, often don’t even like to admit to, and deal with those parts of ourselves that we do not like. When Pluto goes retrograde, it’s a good time to take on any endeavors seeking regeneration.

Pluto retrograde is a great time for delving into any personal transformations you’ve been hoping to accomplish. However, you may have to go through what seems like a trip to Hell and back for it…

And on another site…

“The planet Pluto – the seventh planet from the Earth and is associated with the afterlife realm referred to as the realm of consciousness. This afterlife realm is the realm for the final development of full consciousness. The Pluto realm of the afterlife brings regeneration and a growth in consciousness, but also can bring self-centeredness. Pluto represents spiritual growth and development of the soul and its influence is just now developing in the destiny of humanity.”

However, once awake and fortified with coffee over a four minute burst of Steve ’n’ Seagulls playing “Thunderstruck” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Ao-iNPPUc – which I do every morning, I climbed the stairs to my studio and started working on three canvasses during the same session… the first one finished being the above “Anger Management #1” which is now on sale at Saatchi Art. Also unusually for my methods of working, I am studying and painting this series of canvasses from all four sides, only deciding on the correct orientation once the composition is finished.

http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Anger-Management-1/395193/2173214/view

Image © 2014 Ed Buziak

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PiccadillySta.Drawing.1.Buziak

I found another drawing dated 1963, from the same period at art college, and where I can still remember sitting… but this time at the end of a cold draughty platform of Piccadilly Station in Manchester. Our pre-diploma group must have been sat there at various spots for a couple of hours… but as the station was a terminus, the end carriage of the train next to this platform thankfully wasn’t going anywhere.

My technique for this drawing was the same as yesterday’s “Art college studio” subject… pen and black ink but on 15 x 22 inch paper (the photo is cropped from the original) which must have been quite unwieldy in the wind, unless I had it well-clipped to a small drawing board at the time. Again there is no trace of pencil sketching-in to establish the basic shapes, perspective and proportions – which do feel right – so I mush have been developing a good eye at the time.

I still have several original drawings and paintings from my art college years half a century ago, and whilst a few are being placed on Saatchi for sale, I will always keep some which, apart from being probably unsalable, have more personal memories… this being one of them.

ActionManBlue.Buziak.2

During the later stages of the recent football World Cup (which I didn’t watch on TV as I have no connection or access, even if I had wanted to… which I didn’t) I made a few visual scribbles from newspaper reports with brightly coloured wax crayons in a sketchpad recording which teams were playing each other by noting the dominant colours their national flags used, and in what pattern or sequence.

Perhaps thankfully, although it did help my thoughts on artistic composition, the English team were eliminated in the knock-out stages… I say thankfully because painting in an abstract style the Union Flag (what the BBC always incorrectly refer to as the Union Jack) would have been overly complex; and their strip, principally their shirts, being white would have been rather nondescript to say the least.

ActionManBlue.Buziak.3

Well, the World Cup has been played and won and won’t be around for another four years… so my opportunity to be literally “on the ball” with my timing of a portfolio of subjects to appeal to supporters of those sporting nations has no possibility of going into “extra time”. However, I do have a finished example of what I was thinking of for that particular the with “Action Man Blue” – a 60 x 80 cmd semi-abstract acrylic work on canvas, painted with the same broad 100 cms (4 inch) brush and a similar technique as described in my previous WordPress blog entry entitled “Scrape”.

This painting is currently for sale at Saatchi Art…

http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Action-Man-Blue/395193/2149834/view

Images © 2014 Ed Buziak

Scrape.Buziak.2

I completed this 80 x 60 cms (31.5 x 23.5 inch) work during a couple of days intensive painting a few of weeks ago just after I’d been shopping for materials; because returning with six canvasses I found them simply too pristine to be left in that state in a corner of my studio!

Unusually for me I was in a black and white mood and so squeezed in turn, over the two days, long, straight lines of Indigo, Mars Black and Titanium White acrylics into large dishes so that I could charge just the tips of a 100 cm (4 inch) wide decorator’s paint brush with the very slightly water-thinned colours. I found that after each short, approximately four to six inch draw or drag of the paintbrush, I needed to wipe any excess paint off the brush with paper towels and basically dry the ends of the bristles before recharging them with fresh paint. This technique was necessary to keep the basic outline produced by the bristles sharp and well-defined across the white canvas.

Paintings which look relatively simple to produce are often, in fact, more complicated than meet the eye because of the necessity to allow – such as with this composition – each coat or layer of paint to dry thoroughly before applying another coat on top… even if it is the same tone or colour, because I did not want them to smudge, mix or merge.  Even though there are only three basic colours used in this work, there could be half a dozen layers in places where I have gone over the design in a different direction two or three times with white and again, or alternately, in black.

Scrape.Buziak.3

Although this painting is different to anything I have completed before it follows an “angular” theme I started on a few years ago with my adaptations of the General Vauban fortifications plans… basically lots of angles! It is one I often return to, although the results may look very different in isolation, but I’m sure that if I placed these works together in an exhibition a strong theme would stand out.

This painting is now for sale at Saatchi Art…

http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Scrape/395193/2149315/view

Images © 2014 Ed Buziak

NightDay.1.Buziak.2

My impression and rendering of the first rays of fiery light from the sun reflected from the undersides of stormy clouds but before breaking the horizon, so separating night and day… as seen on an early morning Autumnal walk across my local French countryside… “Night and Day” measuring 81 x 60 cms.

This was the last painting I completed last November – a couple of days before my wife passed away – and I didn’t touch any art materials for another seven months because of suffering a major heart attack in April this year. Since June, however, I have been extra productive more or less every day… I have many ideas to put on canvas and paper before my time is finally up!

It is for sale at Saatchi Art online… http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Night-and-Day/395193/2145036/view

"Shatter #2" ~ Ed Buziak (2012)

"Shatter #2" ~ Ed Buziak (2012)

The above piece is one of a new and ongoing series of works using Conté Carrés (square) hard crayons on intentionally folded papers. There is almost a necessity to view these folded works with side-lighting so the three-dimensional nature of the folded paper reveals itself with the subtle tonal changes between the random angular planes in either light or shadow depending on the direction of the light.

I have worked with Conté Carrés crayons since my art college days back in 1962. From the Blick materials website http://www.dickblick.com/products/conte-crayons/

  • “Invented in France in 1795 by Nicolas-Jacques Conté especially for drawing and sketching, Conté Crayons are made from a blend of natural pigments, kaolin clay, and graphite. The Conté crayon has been used by many of the world’s greatest artists, including Picasso, Delacroix, and Degas.
  • The rich, vivid colors of Conté Crayons mix together nicely, and a range of effects can be consistently produced. They are well suited for use on newsprint, bristol, toned paper or heavily grained surfaces. Their rich opacity makes them ideal for work on darker papers and their quality ensures the longevity of drawings. Conté crayons are waxier and much firmer than soft pastels, so they produce little dust and are easy to control.”

My Conté crayons date from the 1930s and belonged to my wife’s uncle George who was a noted local artist in Devon between the two World Wars. I also use his extensive sets of Rembrandt soft pastels as well as a cache of assorted art papers of various tints and textures… all probably unavailable nowadays if I need to purchase more sheets to continue certain themes.

The variation in tone and pattern of the individual black and white crayon strokes was made by using the underlying texture of the corrugated “cardboard packaging” backing sheet I worked on and changing the angle of media to backing sheets between each application of line.

Image © 2012 Ed Buziak

“Sea Shell” ~ Ed Buziak (1962)

This is a typical example of an exercise given to my group of fresher students – at the Regional College of Art and Design, Manchester – by a wonderfully odd, but patient, spinster tutor known only as Miss Hopwell.

I was one of the 1962 intake at that Northern UK art college and felt a frisson of excitement every day at the shackles of strictly uniformed grammar school years were cast off for a dress code of anything-goes so long as it included blue jeans (and for me, collarless blue or white ex-army officer’s cotton shirts worn outside with an ethnic sash tied at the waist). We were given freedom for the first time in our lives (although I was one of the few who still lived at home) and we all took the bait and included “free love” in the equation!

However, and back to the artwork, I clearly remember this exercise even though it was done all of fifty years ago. The group had a choice of several objects, large and small, with the medium of expression being left to our own imagination and skills. I cannot remember the time we were given – it was meant to be basically a quick exercise – and although I now like to think it was a 10-minute bash, in reality it was probably a 30-minute period more in line with the limits given to contestants on the “Top Chef” programmes so popular on French TV.

I chose a small sea shell as my subject with a bottle of black ink, a pen-nib, stick from a shrub in the garden, a wax candle and a small/medium watercolor paint brush, on dampened cartridge paper. Dampening our drawing-paper sheets was a normal procedure – using brown gummed tape all around the edges so it stayed “stretched” and flat on drying – but on this occasion I drew rapidly with a pen-nib and included a few sweeps of a wax-candle to act as a “resist” to the later ink-wash… then filed-in the solid areas whilst the paper was still quite damp, allowing the ink to merge and spread within the paper’s surface. My intention (now forgotten) at the time was probably to re-create a “wet-look” for the watery subject… and the dribbly blurs do seem to represent delicate fronds of sea-weed or other organic  frond-life growing from the shell’s surface.

Image © 1962 Ed Buziak

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