( ajF_M   Apprentice years __ Figuration
figuration 1972 - 1987:

After about 2 years concentrated only on drawing and an unfruitful first brush with arts education, from which I learned that the only way to pursue my "peculiar" goals was to follow my own way... When I asked in college about learning painting technique in its entirety I was told "you do not need technique any more" And so I had to begin my personal solo journey into the exploration of painting technique & colour.

My ultimate goal was to have the capability of "sampling" art history using chance driven methods (I was given "permission" to proceed with this by the "chance" and very fortunate finding of a copy of "Silence" by John Cage) in much the same way as the rappers had made work using samples of jazz, or pop or even classical sources and mixed them together to form something completely new. Not, of course, always successfully but I was nonetheless convinced that by investing enough energy and by paying enough attention to small details it would ultimately be possible to come up with a set of systems that would allow colour and forms to choose thei own way of combiniong to form compostions that would be the bearers of the history of their making and would have a unique "presence" in the space much akin to the "independence" of meaning and message demonstrated by the works of Mark Rothko.

In order to realise this aim I began by making a journey through art history making, at first, copies of the masters, Botticelli, Leonardo, Rembrandt etc and then pastiches "in the style of" later figures like Mondrian, Picasso, Feininger, Klee, Rothko etc

This process allowed me to have first hand experience of the processes involved in the making of such works which I could catalogue to be mixed and matched later.

Unfortunately, those works that were not sold, the majority, were lost in the fire mentioned earlier, so the only record of those years resides in my painterly capabilities.

At first this work was confined to landscape and figure works, they being the best visual measure of my developing skills in the manipulation of the materials, but when I felt that I had gone as far as was possible with this approach I decided to pursue abstraction as a means of developing new and more particular methods, of breaking away from the constraints of the figurative and finally of moving towards my own "painterly voice". continued in "
3. apprentice years abstraction"

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