All paintings need to be viewed "in the flesh". This is no exception. There is more layered depth in this painting than is visible through a digital image but this is about the best I can do at the moment.
For me painting has to be first and foremost a personal thing. It's a process of development and there is always something more you can understand about yourself. I can't see that ever standing still - that understanding. Why the urge to paint particular things in particular ways at particular points in time? Could speculate forever but maybe best to just paint.
As I rework these paintings I am deleting the images from this post and introducing them as new postings above. I had to
arrive at a point where I thought they were "ok" to be seen by other people. I wasn't looking for
master pieces, just something that lifted my heart a little.Until you get into a series like this and
have some paint mileage under your belt I don't think you can be sure of your
key influences with the exception in this case of Hughie O'Donoghue who to me is a giant of British painting and, like me, from the Manchester area.I can now clearly also see
the influence ofHenry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Jason Sumray. I am
sure there are others creeping in there but it's interesting that these
are all British artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The more I paint the
more I seem to lean towards the painters and sculptors of my homeland.
Delighted to say I have had two paintings accepted into the Stockport Open Contemporary Art exhibition, a juried show. Also really surprised to find I have been shortlisted for the Derwent Art Prize for works in pencil or charcoal etc. I submitted a simple life drawing amongst other more detailed drawings and they selected it. That show will take place in London in September.
Just got back from a visit to Cornwall. Highlights included a return to Barbara Hepworth's studio and garden in St Ives - always an inspiration. She had triplets and still managed to work every day! She said if it was only half an hour it keeps your mind on the work in hand. I also did a day life drawing in the St Ives School of Painting in the studio of the man who started the school - Leonard Fuller This is one of a run of studios overlooking the beach which used to be fishermen's storage lofts I think. Leonard and Barbara are no longer with us but how wonderful a place it must have been in the 40s and 50s before it got so touristy and the fishing industry was still alive and working! The drawing above is one I did at the School on Saturday.
One of my intentions here was to incorporate variety around the surface of the painting in terms of including large, flat, single colour areas contrasted with the more spontaneous and varied working on the figure itself.
This was done this afternoon really to try out some techniques but when I got into it I quite liked it for its own sake. The canvas had been used to test certain overwashes of different kinds of white paint and in fact on the right hand side through the burnt sienna you can see (maybe not digitally) "Household non drip gloss Dulux brilliant white" so I left it there. Why not.
I was surprised and delighted to discover I had won the Barbara Tate award at the Society of Women Artists exhibition this year at the Mall Galleries, London. I entered two from the "Legacy" series and both had sold right at the start of the exhibition. I was very nervous about meeting Princess Michael of Kent but she was very kind and "ordinary". Thanks to all the organisers and artists who helped me yesterday. It was a great experience and I feel really honoured to have been given this award from this long standing institution of which Dame Laura Knight was once President. Here's to women painters! Now, back to work!!
Well, I kind of lost my way seeking the lost edges. This painting took hours and hours. It started off how I thought I wanted it to go - very dark areas, washes, transparent colours, but then it kind of took over this chalky, alabaster type of almost scumbling. I think I can't get those Italian frescos out of my head. But the line around the figure - it isn't a very "hard" line but it is there. I have noticed in life drawing I am pulled towards contour approaches. I love Schiele but then I love many other painters who paint much more loosely. Weird, eh.
Picasso said you cannot produce abstract paintings out of nothing. Remember in maths - we learned that 0 + 0 = 0. Picasso said that you have to abstract out of "something", "some kind of reality". I am working on figurative abstraction at the moment. I am starting what I hope is a new series based on life drawings I have been doing over the past couple of years. When I am in a life drawing class, there is a real body in front of me, flesh, bones, blood, organs etc. What I do with a piece of charcoal and a piece of paper is "represent" or "interpret" that body. I have now decided to have a go at producing some paintings directly from these drawings. In the process I want to "abstract" them. So we have the real thing, the interpretation of the real thing and the abstraction of that interpretation. Leaving aside the purpose of the abstraction for the time being, what is actually going on there? I know that people produce fine abstract work from a memory or an idea even but for me it does not seem to work in terms of the human figure. I am mulling over this as I paint so I just wanted to share it. Maybe nobody cares, lol. Why I am telling you this? And is anybody actually reading it? Why not share what you are thinking -- I will definitely read it even if no one else does.