Tim Stoner tries to represent his struggle through his work. He has made thousands of works, but during the artist presentation he whittled it down to the ones that he felt showed his journey.
Stoner grew up in London and drew trees with charcoal. He mentions that when you are a true artist, you are more of an artist than you were during art school, as art school corrupts the senses. He moved onto Norwich Art School, concentrating on drawing and the importance of drawing everything around you. Just being good at drawing wasn’t good enough here.
There is a difference between conceptual motifs and what we see and what we paint. Stoner wanted to do something more with a structural environment with the idea of a place, rather than just a representation of them. A love of classical paintings and painters is something Stoner briefly mentioned, however he would not paint like this because of his bigger love of acid house music, and the surrounding genre.
When at the Royal College of Art, Stoner realised that he was somewhat blinkered at Norwich. This lead him onto a painting of his sister, which looks chaotic, however it looks more at the psychological aspect his relationship with people and their relationship with each other. This can create the sensation that the paintings are slipping from each other. His ‘first painting’ [so to speak] looks back at the viewer and has aspects that he still uses today.
An important quote that has taken Stoner through his artwork is;
“To whom he seeks advice is not on his own path but on that of another.”
When coming out of college, Stoner was not prepared to be doing up peoples houses as more of a decorator than an artist. This continued until someone dropped out of a Spanish project, that Stoner picked up instead. Through this, he was able to create paintings of desire and beauty. He tried to make paintings from images, creating chaos. This style lead him onto ‘gegentlich’, or ‘back light’, where it created a flat, but spacious painting. Through the Reich’s Academy, he wanted his work to be camouflaged, with a sense of positivity, and a sense and view of perfect lifestyle, all mixed with a sense of war.
Through his paintings, there are tentative but aggressive gestures. This first appeared in paintings of couples, and then onto folk, making figures interact. At this point, Stoner moved back to London, where he was able to get a studio and began painting again. He continued with the same theme that he started in Holland. Stoner found that he had to do a precise, planned and restricted paintings, or else he would have found it difficult to create a painting. Part of this process is asking what enough is in a painting and whether the conceptual and social come into play.
There was a point in time that which Stoner wanted to abandon his work. This spurred him to move again, and started new techniques including that of scraping paint, over painting and completely destroying the surface. This to him was a game over moment.
This lead him all the way back to where it began: drawing. The subject and relationship then came to him, rather than actively having to search for it. Now, he likes to go somewhere and make the paintings about his relationship, with person or place. Place has therefore become really significant for him. To create the paintings that he does today, he mixes two or three techniques that he has tried in the past, and often works against himself.
Images became more woven together as the artworks progressed, creating an entanglement, including painting over previous paintings and scraping these away. He looked for something grotty, and not necessarily perfect. There was a wanting of the idea of environmental pressure.
The way you apply yourself and touch a painting can dramatically change a work. Stoner therefore made the artwork for himself, not necessarily caring about anyone else. It is almost asking the question of; what would happen to one painting if you empty out everyone’s opinions?
Now, Stoner has gone to a smaller scale and creates paintings, often without particularly looking at things, and architecture that he knows, falling apart. He also finds things randomly in the paintings, that he did not necessarily paint. With current works, you are able to see the motifs from previous groups of works. Stoner lastly mentioned that he found light and temperature affects the way that you make work.
I enjoyed learning about Stoners’ work, and the free, yet controlled process that he goes through for each painting that he produces. I found that this process was confusing because of the way in which he instinctively knows to scrape off or paint over. It was also inspiring because he took out the care of others in the painting process, and took out the aspect of being his own critique in order to just do. This was also seen in the colours that he used – there was no deep meaning to them, as often it was just about liking the colour that he had chosen.