Time seems to be flying past and the new term starts soon so i really need to get my act together and get this finished. its great doing all the planning stages and drafting out the image . just playing with the colour combinations and getting the "stare" right is always a challenge. after that its all down hill. constant re appraisals of " what the hell is wrong with this?" are tiring and trying.
then there's the nightmare of over working the whole thing until all life has been drained out of it. i'm really good at that.
she's going dark like all the others and i was really making an effort to keep her bright. i think my general personna is not too bright these days and i'm drawn to dark colours/tones. i've lost all that "dress like disney" of my youth. i see the world as a much darker place but it may be the slow loss of decent eyesight. no matter how many lights i put in the studio i still can't see a thing.
i'm not fussed whether anyone can work out where the figure ends and the pattern begins. thats sort of the point. i think individuals bleed into their surroundings. the walls of certain buildings contain the essence of the characters who inhabited them. sometimes thats a good thing and sometimes its horrid. when some women touch things they leave a sort of mark or memory. its true of men too, its just i notice it more from women.
i should get the hands and the border done in the next few days if i'm really lucky. i already have another one lurking in the gloomy mists of my head and started on the composition today but life and daily tasks seem to take up soooo much time. i also have heaps of college work to do which i should of done weeks ago but Queenie here kept calling.
this will be the 7th of the new figurative paintings. hopefully its obvious what/who she is. i like obvious. having the attention span of a gnat i really don,t get art work that doesn't offer up its intrigue, general cleverness, aesthetic appeal or narrative, pretty damm quick. i don,t mind applying my intellect to "understanding" a work of art but just not for too long. things to do etc etc.
on a brief holiday somewhere in spain, glass of chilled Rose in one hand, blindin rummy run in the other, i realised i was never going to win a hand cos everyone knew what i was collecting.
"well i knew Rachael would have the Queen of Hearts cos she always does.."
so,.. predictable, short attention span, obsession with red.
years ago i planned to get over myself. obviously i failed due to lack of interest.
This is the first of the new figurative work in its formative stage.
Frankly it was an experiment at the time. i don't like portraits, in fact i don't like landscapes much, i just like colour and pattern and translucency and transparency and all the stuff that goes with it. i like shot velvet and silk and hard stone and darkening skies and all the mythical romanticism of historical referencing. but i didn't like those things until recently. but i am old now so i like old things. so there.
Back to "flossy" here, (she became "Winter" much later). the M.A work lead me towards textile design and digital print but i lost sight of painting and almost forgot how to hold a brush.
The experiment was to see if i could combine the quality of the layered digital prints with the repeat nature of pattern, throw in my obsession with colour and tie it together with a brush. canvas primed, 20 hours spent mixing up all the shades and tonal values pertinent to my subject and onward!
.... and that's when the sweat started trickling down my spine. i can't do this. i can't paint faces or hands and i never paint "up to the lines". i never define anything.
i like texture and gestural mark making and scratching through layers of paint. i put wax over washes and scrape it off and scrub the paint back in again.
to say it went wrong is a massive understatement.
Define your Practice....
it would appear i don't have a practice and i can't define anything. the huge paint brushes got thrown out and size 1 brushes appeared. the result was awful. it looked like a talented "A Level" student had copied something badly.
Everything got painted over endlessly.
"Flossy" probably got sick of me talking to her. i told her she looked like a sock puppet and her bird resembled a stuffed chicken, her hands lacked definition or even bones. i learnt to hate acrylics, nasty muddy colours, but thankfully a short drying time considering the endless re paints.
She"s got to glow. she should not be defined by the surrounding pattern, she and it are the same thing, nothing must be tangible. she does not exist. she looms not lurks. oh snore!
obviously these two images are in the wrong order but i'm not changing it now. this is the first "blog" i have ever written and if its not at least semi spontaneous then i won't bother at all.
Someone, ...i think it was Einstein, said that beauty was a matter of millimetres. is that ever true? a brush hair shaved off the side of the face made a huge difference. the tiniest amount of paint added to the fingers and nails appeared. i didn't know that, on the grounds that i'd never done it before. like i said, i don't paint people, just concepts.
god knows how many hours it took in total. i lost count and there's no point worrying about it.
not sure i would ever sell her now. she started something and she made me realise that i have so much to learn, even at my age with my so called experience.
my tutor said, "you know no one buys portrait work don't you, its total out of fashion, and no one will buy such a large figurative piece, they don't have big enough wall space in the UK.......so long as you got something from it........move on." "oh yeah,.... painting is dead!"
and i said .... ...