25 March 2023

Darn! some daze, it's nothing but questions!


Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 22 January 2023, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

Here are some recent studies which prompted a few thoughts for me to contemplate. 

Firstly, I was thinking that from the very earliest brushstrokes, when beginning a picture, one problem is already present. This problem, like for any novelist or filmmaker, is about how to move coherently towards the solution to end each picture. But indeed, this solution is already linked, inchoate, to every particular individual part in the making of the picture. 

Secondly, how do I paint an image which is so personal and so specific and well-defined, yet not too myopic or solipsistically personal for others to feel and perhaps appreciate?

Because Painting can be such an immediate and emotionally charged art form, it often evokes unique and visceral feelings for different kinds of people. Indeed the world of Art often feels like a wild and untamed Pacific Ocean of creative juice to me. So, how do we, as painters, transcend our own bubble of experience, rendering it poetically communicable to others? Or do we just say,
"There it is, tough shit if you don't get"

So thus, how do we as painters (like great novelists), create a 'fictional world', one within this constraint, and one that can be  cleverly exploited to fully express what we need to express, not just to ourselves, but to others as well?

And if so, how do painters visually communicate? Are we communicating an idea or a feeling? And which is better? Are they the same, or not? There are always so many questions! Too many, really,,, enough to make one crazy when one is just sitting around looking at butterflies and not working..... but questions persist.

If a picture doesn't work for a viewer, is it because the painter fails or because the viewer does? And if it's the painter's fault, is it because it's a poorly-made picture due to his/her technique, or is it just a poor idea?  

But what indeed is a poor idea? Is it one that communicates only a 'photocopy' of the original motif (or idea?) either in one's own imagination, or taken out from Nature? But these are different sources and they can create different problems. 

But if the viewer is at fault, (is this even possible?) is it because they plausibly do not do not have the knowledge or experience to understand a painting? In this case, one could certainly imagine a violinmaker explaining to an amateur the virtues of his newest creation. 

But pushing this question further (as an obsessional naturally would) ask if an idea, for instance, is born from a visual memory or a conceptual rumination? Is an idea born from an experience of using one's eyes out on a motif with the aid of one's memory? Is this what one might would call a visual memory or is this what one might call direct contact with Nature? Is this plain-air painting? (I really detest this expression though I am not sure exactly why).

Ouch, too many questions this week!

But anyway, these three are from January. I liked them then, and still do over a month later. I remember these two below quite well and I see that I was pursuing my persistent obsession of making a flat image from this three dimensional motif out in Nature. On some days this idea is stronger than others because some skies naturally lend themselves more to this idea while others hold onto their more anecdotal elements and render them more 'traditional'.

The one at the top I also like because of the drip of paint inadvertently confusing what could be called the 'drawing', adding another question to the whole darn thing!

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 18 January 2023, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

         Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 18 January 2023, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

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