This painting comes from a mono-print, which in turn comes from...which just appeared on the page, in fact. It is difficult to translate mono-prints into paintings because what works in black and white marks doesn't always work in colour. I am always trying to encompass a small amount of realism along with the stylised decorative marks. This painting gave me a chance to enjoy the textures you can make with gouache paint, too.
This picture is 12 inches square. I have planned a series of 10 pictures, to do in 10 days. The elements of each one are a combination of observed people and scenes, and imagined people and scenes. For instance, in this one, the postures and the gestures of the two people are linked to some sketches and mono prints I made of the audience at Wimbledon between tennis matches.
I have spent the last few weeks working on this idea of creating 50 small gouache paintings. After I had made the first 18, I identified some different categories that were happening, and afterwards kept to those subjects: people on benches, reading, cups of tea, fashion, make-up, cafes, signs, streets, still life, flowers, and food. I wanted to see how the images would look all together like a pattern of decorated tiles. And this is the result.
I made a promise, or a resolution or proposal, last year, that I would like to produce pictures in series, with some kind of theme. So, with this one, it's small gouache paintings that concentrate on the texture of the paint, and the brush strokes. As usual, something happens that you don't expect...at first I am anxious and bored by the process...but then I begin to experience paint in a new way. I like the way the small size of the pictures dictates a new approach. Areas are blocked in in creamy, thick layers of paint. Details are eliminated. The plan for this series is to stick with it until I have done 50.
I painted this on A4 Bristol Board with gouache paints. It took me about 3 hours. The drawing originally appeared in my "free drawing" or "you never know what's going to happen" sketchbook. The sketchbook is A5, and I was using grey and black felt-tip pens.
Four new pictures that are part of a series I began a week or two ago. The images were intended as scenery, something like a stage backdrop, for figures I would collage into the foreground. But, strangely enough, the pictures have started to take on a life of their own and they seem to be quite happy to exist without people in them! The elements and motifs in the pictures keep getting stronger, so I have to modify my original intentions. I will take a back seat, keep painting, and wait until the first character appears...
There is something peaceful about making these little scenes with no people in them. My intention was to use them as collage backgrounds, and stick cut-out figures on them, but maybe I like them better like this.
Tracking my art projects, week by week.