09 June 2024

tortoise, not the hare


Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 7 June 2024, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

Finally, the weather has turned and the winter brings a calmer sea often turning pale turquoise then crazy pink in June and July. 

I've had a good week and this one I like particularly because it says what I feel. 

For me, I think the more I paint the easier it becomes to access the bridge to my own emotions.

Let's face it, we all have emotions that sail through us like clouds but to exercise a craft; music, writing, painting, whatever, we develop the means to solidify them and deftly seal them into time for ever. 

As happens often through steady work, large avenues will open up more frequently and they appear to go on endlessly, and like luck, whole vistas of opportunity spring up like giant billboards along the way to beckon us further.

All those visual dreams I've had while walking the twilight beach since first coming here 25 years ago begin to take form. 

Hey! I'm slow! I know that, my path is one of the tortoise not the hare.



04 June 2024

Spartan appeal



Henri Matisse, oil portrait, 1930's? (1869 - 1954)


It's June! Time to fall in love with someone! And how I love this woman! I cannot seem to locate its provenance nor when it was painted but something tells me it was late, perhaps 1930's or 1940's...? 

Henri Matisse was such an innovator, an artist who truly experimented with so many different graphic approaches to representation. I admire him for this even though I might not be crazy about some of his solutions. But I love the many pathways during his artistic lifetime. 

What pulls me into this portrait is the expressive simplicity. The drawing appears to naturally come out of his many austere line drawings made during several decades before his death. I love the Spartan appeal to emotional clarity found in these late portraits. 

The background is a scratchy flat black and reminiscent of a grade school blackboard altered by striking white crosses. The flat portrait seems to stand out by colour alone, the golden head and hair is housed within a wonderful pale broken pink dress. And pink and black are my favourite combinations when paired together one next to the other.

I guess one gets it or they don't. I cannot say anything more about it except that it's the kind of portrait that makes me want to get back to making portraits!