Review: Looking at Paint Volume 1

Exploring the theme of 'painting in the expanded field' Looking At Painting Vol.1  is a printed journal of essays, interviews and conversations.

Designed and published by Jessie Churchill the journal features written and visual contributions from over 35 artists as well as some extra bits and pieces such as a set of stickers and a hand-painted editors note.

Unlike some writings about modern painting – which can be overly conceptual –  each piece in this publication is engaging and approachable.


A variety of voices are thrown into the mix, with many of the texts written by the artists featured, giving a greater sense of the contributors’ personalities.

In particular, we loved reading some of the thoughts of Sophie Chapman who’s writing is intelligent, charming and whimsical in equal measure.

My practise is concerned with a lot of things, which seem to swirl around each other, link arms, smack foreheads, trip knees and move away.

Also discussed, is what is so appealing about not only Sophies but all the work featured in the journal – an aim not to alienate but to open eyes and encourage curiosity. Beatiful work displayed alongside though-provoking writing does just that.


Work above by Veronika Neukirch


The very first piece of writing in the journal is also strong. Discussing “not knowing as a desirable state”, Natasha Ferguson takes a positive look at the chaos and uncertainty which many artists feel.

I am not always sure what I am doing, why I’m doing it or what drives this thing in front of me; but something is. And I’ve come to realise that this instinct should be trusted.

Visual highlights come with the work of Rachael Archibald. Rachael’s work contrasts bold and pastel colours, creating exquisite colour palettes to compliment her sculptural and collage-like style.


An alternative way of introducing artists comes in one of the journals best sections – “One Artist One Work”. In this feature, each artist is asked to choose one piece of their work to sum up their practise. This difficult but very effective tasks widens the field of painting even further, displaying some brilliant work including the painterly patterns of Elliot Fox and goldfish inspired creations of Haffendi Anuar.

Looking at Painting’s first journal thoroughly explores painting within the expanded field; uncovering some hidden gems, shedding light on the ideas behind their creation and opening up the medium for everyone to enjoy.


Posted on Nov 18th, 14 by

Greg McIndoe - also known as Headless Greg - is an illustrator and design writer based in Glasgow, Scotland. He regularly writes for design magazines and online platforms, interviewing fellow illustrators and leading creatives.

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