Painted between April and June 2020 during the Covid lockdown. On display in The Wholefood Shop Cardiff and for sale at the right price.
The painting was started as a pure abstract, in the sense that there was a blank canvas, a random selection of oil paints, brushes and spatulas and no definable objective in mind other than the need to spread some colour and create an image.
What emerged is a representation of what it felt like during lockdown and when the first signs of its easing began.
The colours are fiery, representing the fever of coronavirus. The composition is of two individuals facing away from each other as if to maintain social distancing. The shape in the middle is undefined but may be thought of as an unknowable and unspeakable thing, an awareness of the hugeness and awfulness of the virus on the psyche of those who happen to be alive during the pandemic.
Yet, at its core it is a joyous and hopeful image, with a bright and powerful energy that comes from the very heart of the universe, from the source of life and love itself.
if I don’t paint I can’t write, in fact if I don’t paint I lose the plot . . . it takes a while, months, sometimes longer, but here it comes again . . . sorry, got to go and paint . . . if anything decent comes out of my forthcoming painting session I’ll post it here, you’ll be the first to know . . . back in a bit . . . . . . it’s later . . . well, that didn’t go very far, there was a fair bit of tidying up and sorting out paints and brushes and canvases, not to mention collecting all the other stuff that had accumulated in the shed and putting it out of the way . . . then it was too hot to paint in there so very little got done (painting-wise) . . . then there was cooking and generally mooching about and just being unfocused . . . and now . . . here’s the result . . .
I was sitting in the studio staring at the walls, feeling despondent. There was nothing there. No inspiration – no focus – no purpose. The universe was empty. All I had was some dregs of acrylic paint and 5 or 6 old failed canvases that had been painted in some form of pseudo-abstract meaningless squiggles and splodges.
In desperation I squeezed random bits of paint on the canvases and pushed them about with a brush until they each one was completely painted over in whatever colour emerged from the random scraps.
I left the studio for a couple of hours and distracted myself by eating, feeling even more miserable, and trying to catch up on some sleep. When I returned I picked up the same brush and the same dregs of paint and looked for some form. I chose one of the blanked out canvases and traced the shape of a head on the ridges of dried acrylic and found its features.
Thus Dani Girl emerged and the universe wasn’t empty any more.
The first painting finished(?) in the new studio – actually painted over a painting done last year that never really worked – see below. I’ll get a better pic at some point – the colours on the actual painting are much more subtle than this photo suggests.
As you can see “What have I become” still has the DNA of “The Estuary” but I think it says much more.