love of brown
The creation of a painting can be like driving down galston gorge or around the swansea bends. Sometimes a painting may take a straight line from my idea to execution, but more often than not, it wiggles, bends and generally misbehaves before arriving at a stop.
“Love of brown” started life as a colour mixing sample board. For once, my art friends and I changed places. Normally I would be the one painting neat little squares and taking notes, but I let one colour bleed into the other and slapped colours on in random locations.
I then thought the piece looked like it may become a landscape. That slight blue in the top right hand corner was part of a lake and where her right breast is now was a hill. But it was a dull and boring landscape and quickly led to a dead end.
Then I turned the painting around and started drawing fat reeds or tentacles upward. So what is now the top, was the bottom! I liked the effect, but it wasn’t a painting in it’s own right. It needed more, so sat on the floor for a few more days.
Then yesterday I came home from a funeral. I checked my work emails and responded to some but could not seem to get my brain into work mode. It had been an emotional day.
I picked up a brush pen and started sketching in a face beginning with an eye. The face was very difficult for me to see because I was drawing dark brown on dark brown. I knew that I liked the face, but it could hardly be seen, so I set around painting lights into her face and upper torso. While I painted in the lights, I tried not to lose the tentacles.
This isn’t a great photograph because the flash has cast a reflection near her mouth and shoulder, but it gives the idea.
Description of picture: a woman’s face, shoulders and the upper part of her breasts painted in shades of dark brown, rust, apricot, pale orange and almost white. The canvas is heavily textured with noticeable rough patches both on and off her body. She is not smiling but I cannot put a name to her expression. Her hair is an upward movement of tentacles, perhaps slightly like medusa but without the snake heads! Evidence of the tentacles or reeds remain down the middle of her face and underneath her chin.