Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sketches and ideas...concepts and compositions.

 People are often surprised when I show the rough workings of my sketch book...I have a large number of books stretching back 30 years or so and they're all full of working ideas..I will never have the life time to convert them all to finished pieces unless I drop my obsession with dotting.,...which i'm not about to!!! I like to scribble compositions which take the form of blocked areas and basic shapes. My mind does the most work imagining what they represent. then i develop sketches which are chosen for possible inclusion in a picture. The chap below on the left is one of my Vicar ideas and he was originally proposed to be part of the 'white Ladies' piece. I developed the sketch up to a good standard...but i'm continually drawn back to him.
Whilst thinking of ideas for compositions in which he could exist, i came upon photos of church lecterns..(see above) and thought it would be good to have him standing menacingly behind one.I then decided that the Eagle which traditionally represents St. John for my purposes become a crow which symbolically means so many different things to different cultures...for some good, some bad. i wanted to emphasis the often many ways 'religion' is perceived by communities.

Above right the vicar is seen to be standing with his foot on a Neanderthal could easily be an ape skull...I wanted to comment on the arrogance that some sectors of religious groups view with so called certainty the 'facts' about creation versus evolution or anthing really. The vicar then reveals unwittingly that he has hidden secrets this case he's wearing stockings, suspenders and spiked stiletto boots...this represents the hypocrisy that many so called 'holy' people live by preferring to hide their shame beneath whitened robes....i'm getting a bit heavy now, but I hope you know what i mean?!

As ever, my gorgeous cello girls represent the deeper workings of my mind and the ever present balance between realisation and danger...truth to self and guilt. this all links together nicely with the religious connotations and works very well with the life experiences I have had. I also have wondered about including the little boy figure ( that's me!) who innocently looks up at the preacher, not he a victim ? he to become a perpetrator one day?
Which ever way you look at it, the actual composition is all important, getting the balance of the figures, and making it possible to show the feet of the vicar and the boy whilst having the cello girls in the foreground. Add plenty of delicious frilly bits, little symbolic motifs and enigmatic faces and there is the start of an interesting project.Trains, planes and skies..stars, planets, birds and flowers will all be considered at a much later date.

I hope you now have a little better understanding of the workings of my mind whilst I consider inclusions for my work...I used to add the letter S.I.A.T at the bottom of my work. this was my pretentious attempt to ape the Pre Raphaelite Brother hood who used to sign their work with 'PRB'. Mine used to stand for 'Symbolism in All things'....whilst i no longer include those letters..the sentiment remains solid for all my work. I  like to have reasons for all aspects of my compositions...and consider it as an equally important factor along with the aesthetics and draughtsmanship. 


Sue said...

So many years of practice and experimenting, it's no wonder you are so good!
I love the symbolism in your paintings. I always try to puzzle out the back story to them.
Keep up the great work!