I’ve resumed my painting this week, I’m struggling at the moment to create something that visually ‘works’ and that I’m happy with while also representing the original image and the eeriness I find in it.
This was the stage I was at at the start of the week, I quite liked the contrast between colours at this point, and the unfinished nature of the ground I think works well with the areas of solid colour. I was struggling quite a lot with the face of the man in the foreground, it becomes really difficult to pick out any sort of structure with the bright flash in the photo.
In my tutorial with Mark last week he mentioned RB Kitaj, and how his works often feature areas that look unfinished, which was quite reassuring because part of the problem I have is in making something substantial but not overworked.
I then made a mistake in trying to darken the background, which then became way too dark, and very brown – although I was trying to replicate the original image I think it looks very drab and the characters sort of sink into the wall.
I’m going to try and lighten these areas again – and after a chat with a tutor, I want to maybe restart the main figures face, just because it’s not working with the rest of the work and is a bit caricature-like. I’m still also a bit unsure as to what this painting is leading to. I definitely like working in this scale, but maybe try to set myself a time limit so I don’t fall into the trap of working too much into it.
In terms of new subject matter, I sort of want to take more photos, but then on the other hand I want to avoid staging images or having models pose, so it’s sort of a case of waiting for the right time and place, or maybe exploring more appropriated media. In my research I’ve been looking at ‘the gaze’ or ‘the look’ in relation to a subject, and have come across a lot about fetishism and scopophilia – its not something I’ve thought about before, but definitely something to consider. I have also been thinking a bit about the absence of a figure – I think there’s also something really fascinating about an empty room, and how even unoccupied you can feel an intruder in a space that is not yours. I don’t know where this is going as of yet or if it will link in with my current work but I can sort of sense that it might have some relevance.