Stars, circles and stripes.
White, blue and red.
I have started scratching away at this painting, trying to work out how to best portray a Dugong, suspended in a black hole. I have looked at dozens of Dugong photos, and fiddled with a few pencil sketches, but Dugongs are a strange blobby creature, that are hard to depict. It’s easy to draw a person, as even a stick figure will suffice at times, but Dugongs are a little harder to recognise and so a little harder to depict. They look a bit like a dolphin, a bit hippo and a bit vacuum cleaner.
The Dugong painting will be a centre piece of three paintings, like an altar piece. The work will make some commentary about the environment, democracy, culture, propaganda, social networking and the emerging new spirituality that is building from climate change doctrine.
I decided to alter this old book last week – I used to look at this book when I was kid – it’s falling to bits, so I think I will fiddle a bit and see what can come from it. I added some left over blue from a painting (I hate wasting paint) to magnify these two blokes managing this big machine. Some of the machines from the past, were so big and cumbersome, while today our stuff is so discreet and generally small – except aircraft, ocean liners and buildings. The mechanical stuff though seems to be smaller and more efficient – the idea of a machine representing power seems to be diminishing, or maybe it’s changing – power somehow today seems to be linked with marketing, technology and showing yourself to be well informed. It all seems a bit Yuk to me!
Above, are a few more progress shots of the man in the hole. It is going to be part of three works, like an altar piece, this is the left hand panel – if it works. Below, is where I am up to since last night – I stopped fiddling on this painting at 11:30pm – I was going to bed before that, but had a late burst of energy and so had to revisit the morgue.
Well, there is only one way to begin a new work: that is to begin. I have three panels 160x90cm to complete for a project. I had some really complex ideas, but I have settled for a more immediate simple idea – expressive and hopefully emotive. This image may seem simple but it is loaded with my stuff, sort of an arrival of sorts – cumulating past ideas into a simple form – scary but I will give it a go. It’s better than twiddling thumbs, going to bed with a scrambled brain, staying up to late, wasting time going over detail, worrying about unfixable things.
This painting started with a bang! I made a coffee, put on some music, danced for my little dogs around the studio to Jackie Wilson Say’s (impossible not to dance to Van’s more lively stuff.) I Sketched out the idea, chunks of white, two blues, yellow and two reds, then let it rip.
This time next week I might be a blathering mess.