"After a while, the paint on one’s palette hardens and either becomes unworkable or spoilt"
Palette Works is a temporally finite yet conceptually infinite series of authored paintings produced by scrapping waste paint into rectangular segments of a painting surface.
After a while, the paint on one’s palette hardens and either becomes unworkable or spoilt through the accidental admixture of other colours on the palette, so from time to time I would scrape the paint off my palette and dispose of it. Toward the end of March 2019, I conceived of a painting utilising these dregs: I took a canvas pre-prepared for the New Antarctica series, divided it by 4 in the horizontal and vertical directions, masked the bottom right rectangle and more or less arbitrarily filled it with colour using a palette knife. Thereafter, whenever I clean my palette I complete a new rectangle in the same way until there are no more rectangles to fill, see below.
Record of rectangle fill dates
Initially, I filled regions to avoid areas of wet paint in doing so, but for the Palette Painting No. 2 I established the rule that, starting from the bottom right hand corner of the canvas, I would fill the rectangle closest to the driest area of paint that could be masked out without disturbing areas of wet pain, first moving horizontally, if possible, and then vertically and diagonally and so on. In practice, this does not prescribe a fixed sequence, as regions tend to dry at different rates, but it introduces order into the production of the series.
In so far as I hope to continue painting, each Palette Painting adds to a series. I had partly completed Palette Painting No. 2, when I realised that I had purchased and prepared a canvas that was, relatively speaking, larger in the vertical direction than Palette Painting No. 1. While reflecting on the problem, I conceived a rule for altering the size of the canvases in the series in a systematic way: if I increase each new canvas in size by two inches in the both the horizontal and directions the vertical-horizontal ratio will approach 1:1 without ever attaining it. Hence, whilst conceptually infinite the series is temporally limited, unless taken up by another in the future.