WAITING TO EXHIBIT
By Steve Bewick (cover photograph)
I have recently completed a schedule for a combined exhibition with Buli ´Corby, which had to be cancelled for covid restrictions. Of course, given the lockdown restrictions what I now have is a schedule of pictures for an exhibition without a home. I am, therefore, very pleased to accept Norman Warwick´s invitation to exclusively preview my half of that collection here at Sidetracks & Detours.
Buli is a brush and paint sort of artist. Her contributions have been as a mentor in helping me produce the images from my ideas and how to create art in the digital world. Buli uses the software as a preparatory tool in developing her ideas prior to the paint and brush being used. I have learned much from her in that regard, and would be pleased if any readers wanted to write comments on any or all pieces in this exhibitions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send your thoughts in an e. mail attachment in Word document format. Norman has promised that any work published will be fully attributed so don´t forget to include a brief biography and appropriate j-peg of your self to accompany the piece.
My efforts to turn my art into gold have been met with tempered enthusiasm. At one gallery I was praised for my work, but was told that ´you will never sell them in the North of England´. Instead, It was suggested, I should take them to the London galleries. Because of lockdown at that time much of the art- world was in hibernation, so that never developed. For me lockdown, though, has at least allowed me to reflect and take stock of what I had created during a previous rather frenetic period when I was being mentored by Buli.
So, allow me to guide you round the collection.
The Future Is Green. The image is of the young person with a parent looking out over the now derelict site of the ICI chemical plants at Teesside, on the banks of the river Tees. As a youngster I was encouraged in the use of the word, “Smoggies” in describing those who lived in the area of Middleborough where these were to be seen. The economics of the industry has brought a close to this form of industrial production of chemicals with its polluting fumes of smoke which was breathed by the locals. The parent and child contain within them reflecting the new greener industries in the hope and expression of a safer and cleaner environment.
A scrapple from the apple. Here I borrow and merge the ideas and creations of Andy Warhol and his famous use of screen prints depicting the image of Marilyn Monroe with that of M S Esher and his Bond of Union. This was created with an apple core drawing in outline which is then used to take a trimmed photograph of the subject. Finished with a soft pastel colour.
A sextet of scrapples from the apple. Here the single scrapple from the apple creation is reproduced six fold with six different soft pastel colours as a background. This time erring more towards Warhol than Esher.
A sextet of scrapples from the apple. (Male version)
On this occasion the object of this technique is my Grandson as described above in relation to his sister.
Chet Baker, jazz musician. Dark shade and tint with red trumpet The subject here is Chet Baker. Jazz trumpeter, flugelhorn and vocalist. Born in Yale, Oklahoma 23rd December 1929, died in Amsterdam, 13th May 1988. He was acclaimed the `great white hope` of jazz at the tender age of 23. Depicted in the film, `Let’s get lost` (1988) depicting his short and tragic life as a musician. Here I took a simple B&W photograph of 1954, taken of Baker in Hollywood, USA. My only addition was of the distinctive colour red to his trumpet. Giving an expression of raw emotion in his playing. It might have been blue.
Chet Baker, jazz musician. Full colour. Here I have added colour to his image of 1954 described above. Baker was a great influence on my love of jazz. His invention of the cool West coast jazz sound which was so full of colour and textures in his hands. The red of his trumpet remains as such
A digital room. Black and white.The digital room is influenced by my limited knowledge of computer code as pointed out to me by a Computer Programmer. The construct used in the imagery of the walls has long been replaced by more modern Computer languages today. Nevertheless, the image depicts the influence of computers, robots and algorithms upon our lives in an attempt to influence and subtle control out decision making. Leaving us, the observer and sometimes user of these constructs, somewhat puzzled at times.
Donald descending. Here I depict the President of the USA Donald Trump, arriving as if from the heavens. Or at least the sky. Here in his usual attire for public occasions with the famous, seemingly extended, tie piece. Several repeating images can be seen. Some upright, others reversed, some obscured by the clouds. The images can be seen in perspective, some offering an intimate closeness for the experience of his arrival.
A room full of strawberry. A room is presented as a 3D image with the main three internal walls decorated with a wall paper pattern of clouds whilst the floor and ceiling remain plain. This dream inducing back backdrop of clouds depicts a sky whilst inviting the observer to enter this seemingly infinite space which the room holds. The addition of the strawberry threatens to fill the vast space of the room conflicting with the observer’s feeling of infinite space. The picture contrasts our everyday notions of size, volume and space.
Woman resting in red Set in a hotel bedroom a woman dressed in red takes on the well rehearsed practice of placing items clothing around the room as she rests finally after a busy time. We do know whether it is day, or night time, Whether she has been working, or partying. What is not apparent at first to the observer is that the items removed by the women are more than simply items of clothing placed upon the wicker chair, at the front of the room, perhaps next to a window through which we observe her and finally resting upon the bed.
Land worker. photo 11 A collage of pieces created, arranged in random form and placed upon a scanner for copying. This was created using a poster size sketch titled, `The land worker.` of V. Van Gogh. The original poster was of A0 size (841x1189cm) and all pieces created from its deconstruction by scissors were incorporated into the scan.
Venus. The starting point of this picture was a painting involving the emerging dawn with clouds and blue sky with some retained stars. This was done in acrylic on a polystyrene model head of the type used for retail modelling. The image was intended to depict the emergence of Venus, the goddess of love from the sky. A photographic image was taken of this painting and processed in Photoshop to achieve both a background colour and a fragmentation effect on the face and neck of Venus.
A view with a room. The two opposing walls of the room are adorned by two interconnected images. The room itself invites you in for a full viewing of its splendid contents and décor. This includes, furniture, coffee table with drinks, still hot, adorning walls depicting a design of passing clouds, a TV showing our PM in contest with a bull in Spain. A recent news item. Also included is an off centre ceiling lamp and fixture. Completing the room is a window, open to a splendid view depicting a typically English country side view with a pond.
Is this a real room, or just a dream room? Are the images in the paintings guests in the room, its owners, or simply images looking about the room as you’re the observer, the invited guest to this showing? Why is the TV showing our PM from a recent news item? Of what significance is the view from the window?
You as the observer are invited to browse this scene, to enter this room, to share spectacle. Perhaps the coffee, still hot, is for you!
A mountain range seen from Cornbrook Metro station platform. A wave spectrum representing time, space and gravity from MS Esher is used as a template to overlay an image of the red brick surface laid at Cornbrook Metro station platform. This, with a title distortion and shading creates, an image for the observer of a journey they have completed, or are about to undertake using the Manchester Metro service.
In Einstein’s view of the world, gravity is the curvature of space and time caused by massive objects.
Sunrise in Tel Aviv over the Mediterranean. Whilst it was winter when I visited it was never the less warm like an English spring. Here I embellish the image of the sun in Tel Aviv with the natural colours of the country, the beach area and the warmth of the Mediterranean colours of the sea and sky as they play off one another for the visitors.
Bold key Mediterranean colours of red, yellow and blue are washed across the image with a middle eastern hue so common out there. The sun rises from the sea marking a new day for visitor, resident and worker.
Sunset in monochrome. At the opposite end of the day I play with the evening colours of the Mediterranean sea and sky as they appear to the observer as separating from one another as if to go their own ways for the night before finally, as if as a metrological moment in time and space they merge into one dark mass interspersed by occasional winks of stars and waves from the sea.
The moment of separation is captured and presented to the observer in a monochromatic effect giving the effect of the capture of light and colour by an old 36mm black and white camera.
Sunset in monochrome with a finale of bright light from the sun. At the opposite end of the day I play with the evening colours of the Mediterranean sea and sky as they appear to the observer as separating from one another as if to go their own ways for the night before finally, as if as a metrological moment in time and space they merge into one dark mass interspersed by occasional winks of stars and waves from the sea.
The moment of separation is captured and presented to the observer in a monochromatic effect giving the effect of the capture of light and colour by an old 36mm black and white camera as the evening sun leaves its farewell mark upon the scene.
Three circles of Blue set in a black background. A coloured image suggesting the playful arrival of three circles of blue upon a black background as if depicting a far off echo of light from a distant place. A message, a suggestion of an ending that has taken place already in our time, or the portent of something newly created? It is for you the observer to decide. This image is the first of a set of three linked images.
Three circles of green set in a black background. photo 19 This is the sister image to the Three circles of Blue set in a black background.
A coloured image suggesting the playful arrival of three circles of green upon a black background as if depicting a far off echo of light from a distant place. A message, a suggestion of an ending that has taken place already in our time, or the portent of something newly created? It is for you the observer to decide.
Three circles of purple set in a black background. This is a further sister image to the Three circles of Blue set in a black background.
A coloured image suggesting the playful arrival of three circles of purple upon a black background as if depicting a far off echo of light from a distant place. A message, a suggestion of an ending that has taken place already in our time, or the portent of something newly created? It is for you the observer to decide.
Two Indians perceived in a landscape view in Andalusia. Whilst I was on holiday touring in the Andalusian region of Spain a distant mountain was always visible fro the town where I was staying. This mountain was known locally as the Indian. A warrior Indian who was currently sleeping and would awaken upon any danger to the area. I was immediately reminded of the old American Indian nation and its warrior chiefs who would be the guardians of the tribe. I was tempted thereupon to juxtapose the two Indian images, both warriors of their time.
Waiting for the colour to come in at Whitby bay. Some time ago whilst holidaying rear Whitby Town, East Yorkshire, England I took position in a local seafront café and sketched a view of the port and bay of Whitby. Some years later I decided to add colour to a copy of that image. However, this project was never completed and remains in a state of semi conclusion. Being reminded of the song, “Sitting on the dock of the bay” I have titled this image in tribute to the idea singer songwriter in his line, “waiting for the tide rolling in.” Here I sit waiting for the colour to come in on the next tide at Whitby Bay.
Woman divided by red. A simple diversion as I worked on my latter more detailed picture of a woman divided into three parts resting in her bedroom. See Woman resting in red. The picture is created in two parts using a simple soft grey colour as background.
A view with a room in autumn. The room is inviting you in for a full viewing of its splendid contents and décor. This includes, a sofa, adorning walls depicting a design of passing clouds and a tree surrounded at the base of its trunk a layer of leaves in relief. Completing the room is a window, open to a sea view and a passing yacht. Regrettably you might also observe that the walls are in a state of decay with holes and cracks showing through to beyond the room
Is this a real room, or just a dream room? Are you invited guests to the room, its owners, or simply observers looking about the room as the invited guest to this showing?
You as the observer are invited to browse this scene, to enter this room, to share spectacle.
House in the woods. V1.0 I have here brought together a pencil sketch by Buli Corby and a separate pencil sketch of a typical wood scene. The house is placed within the woods and a path can be made out in those woods which invite you to explore further and observe the fine details of the house.
House in the woods. In relief V1.1 I have here brought together a pencil sketch by Buli Corby and a separate pencil sketch of a typical wood scene. The house is placed within the woods and a path can be made out in those woods which invite you to explore further and observe the fine details of the house.
This relief of the original idea and picture contains complementary tints to both the woods and to the outer facing of the house.
House in the woods In relief V1.2 I have here brought together a pencil sketch by Buli Corby and a separate pencil sketch of a typical wood scene. The house is placed within the woods and a path can be made out in those woods which invite you to explore further and observe the fine details of the house.
This second relief of the original idea and picture contains a complementary colour to the outer facing of the house only, unlike V1.1
A night in the ballet, at home The background of this picture is created from the image of a rundown living room, in an almost derelict house in the Italian countryside. The scene is based on the concept and activity of, `live streaming` of the arts direct to your home. The room depicts a ballet with the ballerina projected into the room to perform as it might occur in our minds whilst we watch the performance on a TV screen. The ballet is watched by my partner on the comforts of her sofa. The mood is set with a blue tint over the room and its occupants.
Girl in the Woods The theme in this picture is the celebration of a birthday. A photo taken at the poser’s wedding celebration is the central piece whereby the head is placed in the midst of a wooded scene taken from an Art Deco picture. The scene is depicted in monochrome whilst the poser’s face is in colour. The idea comes from the fusion of children’s story book, `Little red riding hood` and a typical Art Deco image.
Girl with dolls house and shoes Created as a collage of three images including a sketch of the young girls standing at the edge of the kerb, her parent’s shoes and a photograph of a typical 1990’s house in Bellfield, Rochdale. The image depicts a local scene in three parts. A young girl found playing in the street with her mother’s shoes on a hot summer’s day. Next to her is an image of a doll’s house, an image created from a photograph, reduced in size and texturized to give a common image format to that of the girl and the shoes as if a set of drawings brought together in a single picture.
Women in lavender Imagine you are walking through a field of Lavender as can be found in Yorkshire. The subject is immersed in both the colour and form of the Lavender fields to the point where her presence is being subsumed in the Lavender itself.
The abstract human form is created from lines drawn inwards from random points around the page to mark both the fields and the subject. Colour is added randomly without full regard to the human form but equally to the form and the fields through which she walks thereby creating the illusion of her being there and not being there at the same time as if a dream.
John Coltrane in red In this picture the form of the subject is present against and within the dramatic use of red depicting both the subject and his creations in sound as if a single form.
Red is applied with depth and emotion striking a chord which fills both the back and foreground of the picture. Coltrane is both absorbed and present in this picture reflecting his art form of creating waves of sound translated by the listener to give discovery to the song.
The abstract form of Coltrane the jazz musician is created from the most sparse of outline markings on the paper giving the most fleeting of glimpses to his presence, with his saxophone.
Winter Mediterranean sea on a stormy night in Tel Aviv, Israel A landscape depicting a scene of the Mediterranean sea from Tel Aviv late one stormy winter evening following a visit to a very dull local football match, a heavy rainfall and high winds. Not the tourist’s regular view of the Med. It is created using a black page and removing parts of the colouring to allow the moon, stars and waves to be seen as if out of the darkness of the evening. A depth in the scene amongst the waves is achieved by the additional use of grey upon the white crests of the waves. The closeness of the scene gives the observer an intimate experience of the storm upon the observer.
Nude photo 36 Following Matisse and his example of the nude form I reworked the original concept to create a soft nude image using black. The outline of the nude and intervening detailed curved shapes within the form are brought to the fore with the use of fine white lines. A warm is added to the shape in outline using a glow of gold. Finishing with a background complementary of the gold leaf effect overall finishing the piece.
Spider Man tackles a giant banana Here the super hero, Spider Man is pitted against an unusual fo, a banana. Here I seemingly juxtapose these two seemingly miss matched objects and subjects where in actual fact they are both pictured real size.
Pop art, reconstructed Here a simple image using the subject’s face and hooded garmond against a wooden background. The image is flattened to its simplest levels of three shades in monochrome. This is then coloured using a Wahol influenced style of bright, simple screen print colouring used so commonly in the 1960 of my youth. Here my youthful memories are revived and complemented by the use of my youthful subject.
Where eagles dare. Three eagles are captured in flight, whilst two consider an attack upon their prey. Birds we are told have a remarkable skill of searching, starking and capturing their prey. But how do they find their way home with their capture/ Here they are aided by a road map of parts of Greater Manchester. I wonder where they are now?
Four cats go to London in search of their children’s Grandfathers monument. Dick Whittington and his Cat is a Caldecott Honor Book by Marcia Brown that is about how a poor boy named Dick Whittington has his life changed when he buys a cat to get rid of some troublesome mice. Dick Whittington and his Cat is a charming book that children will love for many years.
The rags to riches story of Dick Whittington and his cat is not just a fairy tale, it is part of the folklore of London. Today there is a monument to his cat near the Whittington Stone pub at the foot of Highgate Hill where Dick sat down and heard the famous Bow Bells of East London ring out.
Here the Grandchildren of Dick´s cat revisit London with their parents in search of their grandfather’s monument.
My principle, idea, or practice is of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in a digital art form by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations.
The tools at my disposal are those of Photoshop employing its many tools to recreate my ideas in a two dimensional image from layers of photographs, internet images and sketches.
The outcomes of my work are often humorous, surprising and even shocking in some instances. This is intentional as I reflect upon the world, its images, successes and failings.
My influences are from the creative art forms of Jazz, surrealism and the writings of the Beat generation.