20 June 2023

The Muses, bon à pétit !

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 13 June 2023, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

This is from the other night. I have had a lucky streak over the past few weeks even if I have not been out there as much lately. I am always quite surprised because honestly, I usually feel so ill-prepared, mentally speaking, but physically too. 

But this image answers a sensual need that must be deeply inside me. It’s true, to make a picture like this is really why I paint. I’m continually looking to satisfy an itch, but not to make a point or dazzle viewers with technique, mais non! I’m just looking for sensuality anywhere I can find it. Everywhere, the painter in me searches out layers and globs of colour that will harmonise easily together and correspond with something I’ve seen and felt out there in the motif heretofore hidden away in my subconscious.

But I do like this one very much, and although I don’t believe it be too exceptional, it just feels good to me somehow.  

When a painting comes so easily, but also smoothly with grace at the same time, (and whether or not it is great) I am always so surprised and very pleased that it can happens at all to me. It’s like I’ve won Bingo. 

And somehow, I muse that those infamous ‘Greek Muses’ scooped me up out of a big crowd and said: 

“You must paint this because nobody else will!” 

Sometimes (like today) when visions of grandeur kick in for me, I have this funny little exercise that starts spinning rapidly like a top in my inner brain. It’s like this; I imagine my pictures hanging on old walls in an elegant Hotel de ville somewhere in Europe. There is ample white space everywhere and old wood flooring that creaks in places when one walks across a room. Then, it goes, I imagine these small pictures are separated discreetly by about 800mm with enough space for viewers to gently shift from one image into the next like a slow slide show. These delicate images might also be firmly held by simple and unpretentious frames in order to establish them as sovereign images in themselves, independent from reality outside of these walls. But frames, and what they do, how they function, etc etc..., is a big subject for another time. 

And there! I can see it all in my imagination, a castle built in thin air like I’m Don Quixote, ha ha. 

In truth, so much of my life has been that of a dreamer, a fantasist,,,,, but I’ve changed now, hopefully, I am simply a man who paints small things but dreams big.


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