I know that there’s no official UK lockdown but, with Covid cases still high and my wife in the highly vulnerable category, we’re not going out much at all.
This follows on from the previous project (Lockdown 2021) and largely documents my start on larger oil paintings, on either canvas or canvas board. I also had a significant hiatus from Instagram this year when my confidence plummeted so I’ll be a little sketchy about what I’ve done.
My first large scale oil painting was very much so (for me), 90cm x 60cm, and was based on a photograph of a Covid patient attended by health care staff (in America I think). I redrew the picture a few times to get the composition I wanted then painted it. Remarkably, it was accepted into the Leicester Open 32 exhibition (see blog post here).
I then began looking at some photographs I’d taken in Nottingham about 10 years ago and chose a couple to work from. In both cases, I manipulated the photographs in Photoshop, moving people around and changing their sizes to create a composition that worked for me. I painted both on A2+ sized canvas boards (from Seawhite).
This one sort of got stuck at this stage. I’d envisaged a smoother, more polished, end but somehow really liked the unfinished look of this.
The next one used aspects of two photographs in which I merged and shuffled the figures around in Ps ending with a composition which pulled the people together in a tighter narrative.:
And which turned into:
I have no idea how the guy on the right ended up having a dog’s head (meant to be a little Anubis-like) – it just seemed right at the time. I did like the brushwork and colour choices but, oddly, I think I like the background more than the foreground (reminds me a little of Jeffrey Smart, though much less polished).
The next painting came from an intention to use photographs I’d taken on previous trips to Australia and insert figures taken from fashion magazine photographs (I was much heartened to read a while back that Chantal Joffe’s early work used the same sources).
The resulting painting:
I think I lost my way with this one. I like the tree and the figure but the landscape is trying too hard to ‘be’ like the photo. The splodge in the top third is neither one thing or the other.
This is when I decided that I had no idea what I was doing. I lack the training that would enable me to push through this sort of blockage. However many books I read about artists, none of them explain how to think about a painting and I am still trying to figure that out. It was several months before I could get back into painting again.