I arrived at the studio to put into action my plan to work on the whole roll of canvas, which measures 2.94 x 10 metres. Firstly I worked out that in order to hang the roll of canvas from my studio wall, so as to work on a section at a time, I would need to create a pulley system and this would need a pole to feed down the centre of the roll that would be attached to the wall and a substantial rope. I had meant to bring a rope and I already had 2 lengths of 10cm dowel that would need to be joined to make one long enough. So, Olive and I made a short trip to Macsalvors, one of my favourite shops. I asked advice about joining the dowel and found I didn't have the tools necessary but I bought a beautiful 25m skein of polyester rope. Back at the studio I experimented with a smaller roll of newsprint paper and discovered hanging and pulleying this was far more complicated than I had thought. I then spent quite some time moving around furniture to make it possible to attach the canvas to one wall, then along the floor and up the opposite wall. However, with my new sink in position and plug sockets in the way this was more difficult than expected and the space wouldn't actually accommodate the whole 10 metres. This was when I started to ask myself why keeping the canvas whole was so important to me and I decided quite quickly that it wasn't! So, I cut off the section I had primed the day before and began to roughly draw out in paint, with a long-handled brush, the walk I take with Olive most mornings. I did this by marking the edges at 20cm points like a map and plotting the route from my A4 drawing, making adjustments in another colour. Whilst performing this 'walk' across the canvas I realised again just how much I enjoy moving paint around on this scale.
Rather than cut up my new roll of canvas I've decided to work on it whole, a bit at a time. So, today I unrolled 2.5 metres onto my studio floor and primed it. I was surprised to see how much shrinkage there was, mostly in length rather than width.
I have a plan for a new painting that will draw on one I made 18 months ago, (a reflection on my daily walk with Olive) and also the work I've been making since, which has included written phrases about uneventful but nevertheless significant moments or observations each day. I have begun with a satellite image of the walk Olive and I make most mornings and I mean to write into the path we take.
Whilst planning this today I have remembered some drawings I made in 2001 when I wrote into a line that formed a drawing. Also, some even earlier work - an etching based on an old map showing my childhood home next to Dusty Pit Mine.
I am interested in things and processes that are often overlooked or spurned as irrelevant. In 2006 I began working an allotment in Derbyshire that became my field for research and working the ground has been important ever since.