|Battle of Anghiari, Peter Paul Reubens, (copy after Leonardo da vinci) 1603.|
|Miss E Hughes with the cottage loaves which she still baked in an ancient oven at Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, and sold in the village.|
Trying to reach the actualisation of the paintings I carry around inside my head is at the root of my struggle. Whenever I look back on memories of difficult times, I see what I have experienced as a painting, the scene set inside a life-size canvas. Whole finished images that so far have been carefully stacked up at the back of my mind, waiting. I have tried ignoring this artistic tendency, but the impulse to paint these images does not go away. It writhes and surfaces like sightings of the Loch Ness monster, it festers and blackens into a thick, black slug of depression that eats into dreams, and then it bangs on the window of consciousness, inducing headaches and restlessness until it is heard.
So I have been framing my experiences, and now I am at the start of my journey to bring these images out of suspension to try to do them justice. The picture below, was an attempt to capture feelings always just beyond my grasp. I used pastels for their cold and remote quality.
|Abstract portrait, "A search for self". Oil on paper. A1. 2010.|
Not long after my 40th birthday and wondering when "life" would begin, I searched for local art courses on the net, as a means of bringing art back into my life. I found a Year Zero course which is the introductory year of a Fine Arts degree. Inquiring via email to find out more, I was invited to look around and have a chat the following week. Shocked by the pace of events, I went along and showed the Programme Leader a photo on my phone of a painting I had done. I was told they wanted me on the course, the interview would be a formality, oh, and bring your portfolio.
Francis Bacon tried to move away from narrative painting but it seems I am trying to move towards it. Not in the traditional sense of depicting historical or mythological scenes, but narratives drawn from real life's story that we all share to some degree. He wanted to side-step the intelligence and hit you first in the emotions, creating a response in the senses.
"Some paint comes across directly onto the nervous system and other paint tells you the story in a long diatribe through the brain."~ Francis Bacon
My challenge will be to portray my personal happenings without losing their impact, leaving the image open for a viewer's own interpretation. My next quandary is, if I explain my images with the written word, will it accentuate or diminish viewing of my future art. The question is, should the viewer know the story behind the art, or should the picture hold the thousand words within.