“His paintings are reactions not representations … presenting with enviable vigour and dynamism a conspectus of landscape that embraces history, geography, art history, geology and archaeology.
… The paintings are equivalents of the landscape, and this is the landscape [Jeremy Gardiner] walks through, inhabits sporadically in his mind, and takes possession of fully through his imagination.”Andrew Lambirth, “Vantage Points and Variable Perspectives”, in “Jeremy Gardiner: South by Southwest”, page 29
I’m pulling together a set of paintings for a forthcoming online exhibition with Fife Contemporary that all come from the same source of inspiration: beach pebbles. They range from representational rows of pebbles to abstracted paintings based on pattern and/or colour. I find it hard to write/talk about my reasons for painting these, but it starts with my getting mesmerised by small sections of beach as I wander along, and my enjoyment of pattern and colour.
There’s an array of colours in the geological mix of pebbles on the east coast compared to the fairly uniform black-greys of the volcanic rock of northern Skye. On different occasions my eye is drawn to different pebbles: stripes, circular, broken revealing the ‘inside’, white quartz, orange-and-white, conglomerate, red sandstone. How the water smooths and arranges the pebbles, how it changes with every tide if the pebbles are small, how at times sand hides rocks I know are there.
To try and find the words I need for an artist’s statement I’ve been delving into books on my shelves on artists who paint “non-representational landscapes”, which is what led me to the Monday Motivator quote above. I think “reactions” is a useful description. A painting such as the one below is my reaction-in-paint to the patterns and colours of pebbles. Painted wet-onto-wet so the colours spread and mix with not-entirely predictable nor controllable results, like the sea washing in.