Archive | 21:10

Nostalgia Is The Thief Of Time!

5 Dec


Mixed media: work in progress.
Here’s a large piece I started some time ago – over a year. Sometimes you just get stuck on something and have to put it away for a while. Apparently Titian used to work up his underpaintings then turn them to a wall for 6 months before completing them [and there the comparison ends – I wish lol]. I knew what I wanted to do with this piece but I just couldn’t get it right so I’ve done a lot more analytical study of anatomy over the past year, working from my borrowed skeleton Felicity and various anatomy text books, Burne Hogarth, Sarah Simlett and Gray’s Anatomy. I’ve also been doing more practice with paints and oilbars so that I can complete the flesh accurately. I’m getting there.
I’m very fond of the European tradition of Vanitas, where the artist reminds the viewer of their own mortality. Maybe I’ve taken it to extremes in this piece by dismembering my poor model! I started by colouring a large piece of Somerset Velvet with acrylic paint and medium, using a squeegee and then overprinted in a very pale grey/green with a photographic screen print I made from drawings of vertebrae, so there’s a sort of faint spinal wallpaper going on in the background. The figure is worked up in conte crayons and oilbars with oil paint in the details. The concept was of a ghostly presence brooding on the past and reading letters [hand drawn and written] from her long-dead love, whose flayed portrait is hanging on the wall. I was having a lot of trouble coming to terms with nostalgia at the time – I find nostalgia quite unsettling and I don’t like slipping into it, hence the title of the piece.
I think I’m ready to have another crack at it – there’s not far to go.


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