Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Devil's borrowed my clothes

The devil's borrowed my clothes
So mid way through 2009 I broke up with my then girlfriend , at first I was okay with it , but then gradually my mind went into meltdown , not only had I been made redundant and joined the lengthening Irish dole queue now I had lost my girlfriend as well, one day I just sat down and tried to record the frustrations I felt . Just paint really quickly , no edits .

The colours such as they are , are just raw earth colours , black and white and umbers , and to add to the drawing such as it is I started carving into the board with my stanley knife creating curls of muddy and stagnant paint , painting so quickly that the paint had no time to dry . The objects I used are ones I've used before , all images present in my paintings since the 80's but


drawn from life , some of the objects collected from charity shops in the town my ex lived in , arguments between the skull and the mannequin head just violent emotions and arguments made into paint , conversations had or not had ( mainly not , by the time you get to realise how much you miss someone the moment has passed and the only communication you can have is with a voice in your head , if like me you replay scenes in your head over and over with different dialog and different outcomes .

 I used the same box I'd painted the first horse painting in back in 2007/8 ,

Horse ( 2008)

 I like the confinement and claustrophobia of it , objects forced into contact and conflict - I've always admired the paintings of Max Beckman and how he uses confinement to suggest and imply conflict  ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Beckmann ) .

Now I really liked the energy of the paintings and their spontaneity but the drawing and painting were letting them down , especially the colour such as it was , so I took the original paintings , photographed them all within the box ( the originals are all drawn from life ), very carefully then spent until 2011 trying to do justice to original ideas - some of them accompanying me on my travels between 2010 and 11 on ferry journeys over to Wales to see my new girlfriend and now partner , one of the drawings working out the way I would paint one of these was worked on around 2 or 3am in the morning at the ferry terminal in Holyhead , waiting for a train. So after two years work this is how they turned out :

3 steps 2 heaven
Baby's got a gun


Nag nag nag

The death and resurrection show
The devil's borrowed my clothes 



 









The final painting in the sequence ( 'despite all my rage' ) took two go's to complete , the initial painting worked back into the original eventually got put across my knee and snapped into four pieces and deposited into a wastebin , sometimes no matter what you do the surface of a painting becomes dead ( especially true with acrylic ) so I started all over again , and as I worked into the new version my Painting technique had started to change into something looser and less clinical finally I'd found a way to paint that allowed speed and expression .

Despite all my rage ( I am still just a rat in a cage )

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