Monday, August 11, 2008

Looking Up (working title)

Looking Up
Oil on Canvas

This is the painting I mentioned recently that I was working on. I know it seems quite different to the recent fruit paintings I've been doing, but there doesn't seem enough room to really let go with the paint like this. My Kokanee paintings have more of this character - some detailed, realistic sections, surrounded by wilder, more chaotic markmaking. It makes me think of the eye of the storm, a little pocket of stillness amongst the drama. I used to have a recurring dream when I was a kid, which this reminds me of.

Looking up is a working title, as I'm still not sure what it's saying. We're 'living' with it for now (ie it's visible from almost anywhere in the house) whilst I make some decisions about it - I'm sure it's finished now, but it's quite loaded emotionally so will take some time to name. It's in the lounge, and it's much huger than I thought it was when it was in the studio.

I used a combination of brush, palette knife and foam pad to paint this piece. I wanted to create texture and light, in a slightly surreal, dreamlike way. I wanted to create something which expressed both ease and awkwardness, confidence and insecurity in the same complicated individual. It's physically a self portrait, but the ideas and intentions are more universal.

Paintings can often reveal something quite intangible about the artist, something not easily communicated in words. That's a big part of the appeal of painting for me, and the challenge of writing this blog about the processes involved in realising something so linguistically slippery, is an education every day.