I spent the morning at the Art Gallery of NSW’s Francis Bacon exhibition.
It amazes me that each time I go to an exhibition of famous painters that I find pieces I expect to enthrall me don’t, yet others take my breath away.
Today two pieces which are poles apart captivated me. This ‘running dog’ was blurry yet crisp. It was just enough to suggest and blurry enough to be masterful. It may seem like a strange choice. I can only say that the picture doesn’t do it justice.
The second piece, is quite the opposite of the first and I cannot even tell you what I like about it. The intensity of the orange was stunning. The scratchiness of the texture, the haphazard nature of the flowers – it was one of those pieces which from a distance hung together beautifully and up close revealed all these little mysteries.
The exhibition made me want to come home and paint the most vivid orange I could find – not that I’m sure I could get one stronger than Bacon’s.
The other thing I took away from the exhibition was a new found admiration for how much a few lines can do to add depth to the painting. Bacon’s cage, box, rooms were ever present.
Instead I’ve come home and looked at my most recent art effort. I’ve picked up a crayon and coloured a few areas before I’ve realised that ‘ship has sailed.’
This piece is smaller than an A3 page. Working small, I can finish a piece in one night, or one week. When I work small and quickly, then I get a raw reflection of just that particular moment. If I continue working on the piece after the moment has gone, the painting becomes something else. So I’m leaving this one as is.