Before Easter I did a painting workshop with Jessie, the main objective of the two days was to create as much work as possible and for that work to be diverse and experimental. The main thing that Jessie really pushed was working outside of your comfort zone. One of the students was creating a large scale piece using acetate to create interesting and diverse shapes and forms. I decided to give this a go but still trying to incorporate portraiture. It was a very interesting way of working but on that occasion it did not work for me. The work, I believe is too fragmented and is confusing to the eye. However, it taught me a lot about paint and how diverse it can be and I think it helped me loosen up a bit. The painting on the left was created in under two hours - it just seemed to flow out of me. I decided to limit the colours to only two; the background being a turquoise colour painted in acrylic and the face in a pinky red in oils. I think that working in this restricted way allowed me to completely absorb myself in the form and the emotion of the face without having to worry about getting the perfect colour and the perfect placement of that colour. I enjoy the way that in some areas I have rubbed back into the turquoise background. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being among a group of painters - there was a mutual appreciation for paint (even though it was a very diverse bunch of people) and the atmosphere was buzzing. It was incredible the volume and the quality of work that was created after only two days. It got me thinking about the way in which I spend my time - I do a lot of thinking whereas it might be better spent just doing!
Some photos of the workshop.
Doodles and Experimentation
Recently I have been feeling a bit uninspired with the painting that I have been doing and have felt the urge to relax and get more in tune with my subconscious. I have been looking at the work of Ida Applebroog, an artist who moved from video art to painting. I am particularly interested in the quality of her lines and in particular the works in red. There is something about them that is very basic and primal yet complex and provoking.
I have also been really inspired by the drawings of Tracy Emin and Louise Bourgeois and again, especially the ones in red.
I have collected a selection of inspiration that I keep in a folder on my phone.
I began to doodle in my journal and the doodles quickly progressed. It became apparent that my subconscious was creating what appeared to be a collection of fetuses about to emerge from a womb.
I started to work on large scale and began playing around with shapes. I was still very interested in the deep blood-red colour. I painted a line connecting one of the blobs with another. The blob at the bottom was open and there were three faces inside. Again, this could represent a womb and fetuses about to emerge. The painting then changed and two of the blobs became one. This way of working almost mimics cells in the body splitting. I rubbed back some of the blob with turps to reveal what could be the veins in a lung or heart. I then added some yellow in the shape of a melancholic figure. I wrote the words 'I am just an echo of your belief' which popped into my head as I was working. I believe that the work is about the body and the base anxieties that we have as human beings, for example, the fear of losing or being separate from the people that we love as well as the understanding that we all must grow and change and that we don't necessarily have to take the path that is expected of us.