The above drawing is a negative version of a quick draft for the following painting. The painting was completed back in 2000 using acrylic paint on a 900x1200x3mm hardboard sheet. At the time I was thinking about doing a series on couples – not so much about boy/girl couples or marriages etc. , but two people together in some sort of setting. I eventually did a few in the couple series, but never really exhausted the possibilities or developed the potential.
In such a typical way I returned to an older form and produced a single portrait from the waist up, looking out and towards the viewer. One day I may go back to the original idea – because the draft is quite different to the painting and seems to suggest another direction altogether.
I like the idea of going back and cannibalising older artworks and creating some new strain of art. I recently reworked some songs that I had written way back in the late seventies and early eighties and changed the lyrics, but in a parallel way. The Psalms of the Bible use a form of poetry called parallelism. An idea is stated then followed up by a second statement which is really the same idea expressed in a different way. I think this could be done in painting: in the one painting: like an idea bouncing around inside a frame, or an idea being reflected back through a mirror.
I am sure this has been done before, but could it could be an interesting device for presenting ideas. Sort of reiterating and emphasizing by presenting a slightly different viewpoint each time. This is quite different to using opposites to create a synthesis. It is possibly a more sure and harmonious way of presenting ideas – possibly a pre-twentieth century concept based more on belief in absolute truth instead of one based on moving goal posts.
I think I will do a series of drawing/paintings based on a black background, and maybe with two figures that express the same idea in a different way – reminds me of most relationships really.