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 .... ...