Saturday 4 May 2013

Work in progress. I am exposed, underneath my skin.

I guess I hate sharing the work in progress, but sometimes its useful to set it down.
I have been looking at process, - as usual. The process of ageing, changing, choosing to change. Both in my real life and in my work, trying as ever to move it on, keep discovering and exploring.
When I was young I picked a new look every now and then, trying them on, seeing how this and that fitted. As I grew older this seemed to stop, life imposed a  style on me. Now I am playing again. As I looked at my ageing self, I thought, who is that? I don't want to compare this woman of 50 in the mirror with the woman of 30, 40. So I grew my hair, put on some makeup, lost some weight. Now a new woman looks back at me, with a new dynamic. I have found a new sexuality... and its fun. But interesting and complex also.
My work is not usually directly autobiographical. Yes of course it reflects the life around me, but its not been about me persae. These next few pieces are, I suppose, and so I won't be exhibiting them. But I can show them here, where they impact on future work.
I began with an exercise of feeling my face and drawing what I felt, not looking at the paper.

Then I painted what I felt under my fingertips, but looking at the canvas. I then used a mirror and adapted the image. I did this more times, trying to explore different emotions and styles, they are a bit grim, but they are a progression and an exploration. I will do more of them.

I am working on old canvases, the past use is supposed to enhance the change and layering of the persona, it might not be apparent but I know its there.
This exploration, I am extending into the rockabilly paintings.
I am trying on that style at the moment, the hair, the clothes, its a great game.
 The rockabilly gigs we have been to, are in old village halls, not unlike the ones they would have been in in the 50s. The other people there also are playing this game. Old, young, serious, dressed up or in contemporary clothes, it dosent matter. It all seems to hang together. This is not a 50s convention of nutters. Its a flexible, aware, pastime.
I took some random photos with my phone.
I painted the first sketch on a black background.
I then tried another sKetch on a subtler background, its not worked up yet, I don't want to loose the fluid quality.
So now I am exploring other colour backgrounds. Worked over other unsatifactory paintings.
Whilst painting them I liked the ghostly effect of the past life coming through, and so I am painting thinly so that that occurs.
I love this one as it is.
I expect the finished works will be to confusing, to multilayered and so I will make the paintings thicker, but we shall see.
Its nice to share all this.
Usually only I watch the changes.
I was going to video the change of the canvas as the black paint covers the underneath painting is altered and obliterated, but perhaps that would be too boring. I dunno. anyway here they are.
 I am exposed, underneath my skin.

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