I went out to get a long canvas for an idea I wanted to get out of the way. It was originally to be called FOUR QUARTETS (after the T.S. Eliot poem which I love: “Midwinter Spring is its own season” and all that!) with superimposed sets of shapes, all in fours. However the canvas was expensive so I came home and rummaged in my shed and came out with three lengths of tongue and groove planking. The two shorted pieces I fitted together and primed (after a light sanding – I know I should have cleaned them!) and the longer piece I kept for a second work. The two piece work will be called TWO DUETS; the same concept as before but the image sets will be in twos. I didn’t do much else of a creative nature as my wife and I went out (twice!) although I took quite a few photographs on the long way to town – including a series in the town churchyard which may be used in due course in my paintings.
A pretty normal day as June had to work although we spent most of the late afternoon/evening with the family. I did part of the drawing stage of TWO DUETS, first in pencil and then in acrylic paint. I put in the background sections and two sets of shapes. I will probably put in another twin set tomorrow (in a new year!) if I get the chance.
June was working again so we couldn’t join the family until quite late in the day. I spent much of my time in my studio – save for a brief trip to town only to find that most of the shops were closed! I added the remaining shapes/symbols to TWO DUETS, as before using thin paint over pencil.
I then added rough marks to the long plank “rescued” from the garden shed on Sunday using different colours of artists pastel. The work is entitled BURIAL VERSES – HOW ONE PERSON CAN BECOME A CROWD which gives a guide to the eventual shape sequences.
After this I started to add symbols to TOPLESS GIRL using the twin tree motif from THE LEGACY OF THE FOUR BREASTED WOMAN as the initiating thematic image. I hadn’t completed this process when we finally went out.
A return to (almost) normal days! I continued working on TOPLESS GIRL. As much of the imagery was only sketched in yesterday using extremely thin paint I had to repaint these before adding the rest. After I had completed the main colour I decided to add other images using a different colour and moving from the opposite side of the panel. All are spontaneous variations or elaborations from the starting symbol. At the end of the day I found myself making changes to the composition/concept and I will have to continue the work tomorrow. Incidentally I deliberately put the thematic symbol about two thirds of the way up on the left which means the top third of the picture is mainly blank – this is just me playing games!
I completed TOPLESS GIRL by painting over the white paint which I applied yesterday to obscure some of the images. This took several coats and a lot of tweaking. I wanted to emphasise the starting image so I removed some of the immediate variations; this was possible because the development of images was so loose and spontaneous.
Later in the day I started to paint in the shapes on TWO DUETS. I am not sure if I will get the work finished tomorrow as I am out most of the day. I suspect I will be writing all of Saturday so I may have to squeeze in completing the work between gardening jobs on Sunday.
I was out all of the morning and on my return I decided to catch up on my writing rather than finish my painting. I hope, all being well, to finish this tomorrow.
As it turns out I was somewhat over optimistic about completing TWO DUETS as I have only finished painting the smaller blocks. I adopted an approach with this acrylic work which I should use for my oil paintings but don’t (i.e. do the complete drawing and then paint each individual area) instead of the technique which I actually use on my oils but shouldn’t (i.e. paint all the blocks first and then superimpose the images) – I am not sure why I am so back to front! Looking at how much gardening I have to do on Sunday I suspect I will be finishing off on Monday – again all being well!