Sometimes , as in the previous post , paintings are made in the heat of the moment , without consideration for drawing or quality , they exist in a strange no mans land between sketch and finished work , sometimes a painting may have the germ of an idea in it that needs to brought out . Paintings, like words in digital space can be cannibalized .
In a brief return to realism back in 2008 I'd made this painting
|Suddenly A horse ( state 1)|
In the winter of 2009 - 2010 I was house-sitting for a friend whilst preparing for my first solo show in Ireland , the first of three that year at Birr theatre and arts gallery http://www.birrtheatre.com/
I'd bought all my painting gear with me , easels , paintings to finish , boxes of the models I use in my paintings ( and thanks Monica and Mauricio for letting me use your house and workshop a lot of the paintings wouldn't have happened without the opportunity you gave me ) and a few paintings which I thought might become something more . So I set to work on the painting and it became this, one of the few paintings I have ever actually sold .
|dark star dark horse|
Originally I'd used tracings and hand cut templates to draw it out , but having spent a while drawing over 2007 - 2010 I could finally realize the germ of the idea as it had presented itself , and I still consider this to be one of my most fully realized paintings.
Another painting I had made in 2008 took the same treatment ( it kind of ties in with the box paintings as I took the initial photograph of the work when I was trying to remake the paintings from 2009)
|Box of laughs ( state 1)|
This painting was done directly from life , at a time when I was trying to teach myself observational drawing all over again , I found it hard to keep up with the changing light involved and the constant repainting , at one point I had also drawn lines on the floor of my mobile so I could keep track of where I was sitting and where to place the light source I was using ( as a lot of the paintings from around this time were done at night after coming home from work ) . Photography and the computer screen freed me from this and allowed me to concentrate on exactly what it was I saw in the still life set ups I was working from ( a photograph of the initial set up , transferred onto the board using a primitive image projector then using the computer screen as reference for colour , shadow and detail - the zoom in tool is your friend ) . So this painting became this
|Box of laughs v2|
Sometimes its worth going back to old ideas to reinvigorate or reinvent them, this painting from 1997 has gone through at least three iterations
|Still life no1 1997|
|Still life no1 2008|
|Still life no1 2009|
Each time I make the painting I have to recreate the props from the original ( I now have a box of these , that I cut out from plywood staying at my friends house ) and each time the painting turns out slightly different , the final version from 2009 is much smaller than the original from 1997 ) - sometimes ideas nag at me or they become something of an obsession .