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 decided to go to a bookshop and buy a book about anthropology. So I found an Oxford publication: 'Social and Cultural Anthropology - A Very Short Introduction' (I really recommend it, easy to read and fascinating). There are a few photographs in the book and I had a thought that I would do some portraits of anthropologists, so here they are. They all look pretty serious and brainy, I think. I intend to pursue my reading in this field, so whenever I run across more anthropologists, I will add them to this portfolio. These are done using brown oil pastel, and various inks.
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.
I worked on mono-prints for a couple of days and found it really exciting. I like working with images, taking them from the original observed sketch through the process of printing. This method was demanding that I push the boundaries of what I am comfortable with, in terms of drawing. "Be bold, make decisions, go for it!" my inner-tutorial voice was saying.
Tracking my art projects, week by week.