Friday, 17 February 2012

Coming up to the finish line for 7 Cascades, view from third waterfall! 16/2/12 (after 6 weeks of work)

Pencil sketch 16/2/2011 First piece of work
Oil on board 7"x5" on orange ground "Reclining Lady" 16/2/2012 done on site, second piece of work
Oil on board 10"x8",coloured ground, 16/2/2012, "Reclining Lady in Yellow". Third piece of work done on site.
Oil on canvas, 40cmx30cm. "Reclining Lady in Yellow" 17/2/12. First piece of work done in studio.
Oil on canvas, 40x30cm,"Reclining Lady in Pale Yellow on Orange Ground". Second piece of work 17/2/12 done in studio.
Oil on canvas, 65x50cm "Orange lady thrown from her galloping horse". Third piece done in studio.

I woke up early on Wednesday 16th February, the sky was bright blue, the cyclone we had had at the weekend had passed and I was raring to go and paint. Luckily my gardener had come to work (!) as he accompanies me when I go down to the waterfalls.  The path was extremely muddy and difficult. I did at one stage wonder whether I should turn back. But, with the some help, made it down safely. I sat from 9.30 till midday working on the above first 3 pieces of work. 

Thursday 17th February, I went to work with an artist friend of mine, Jocelyn Thomasse in his studio, as I find I can concentrate much better when with another person. We worked from 11-5 and I made a remarkable discovery:  I was working on my third oil painting that day (directly above), using the two on-site oils I had done the day before at the waterfalls (numbers 2 and 3 above). He was watching me paint (from the corner of his eye) as he read a book behind me and he said to me "I see a horse", then "I see a lady on her back, who has fallen off her horse!"

What? I remarked.  What are you talking about? So he showed me. I saw some vague lines which could have resembled a horse, but carried on, not taking any notice. I certainly didn't want to ruin my landscape by changing it into a picture of horse. The bottom half of the picture had been painted with rocks and as I didn't like them I took them out and added the pools and rock formations in the distance.  Half an hour later I had painted a galloping horse! I couldn't see the lady until he pointed her out to me. It was only until AFTER that I realised what I had done. To my amazement, when I went back through my other pieces of work, I noticed that in one of my small oils I had done on site more than a month ago (below), I  also found a galloping horse (in the mountain on the left) and a lady on the right,  lying down on the ground, propped up by a cushion, with her legs extended to her right. She is seen from the side with a baby (his face and body are white) in her arms.  (Tilt your head to right). The lady's legs and right foot are the yellow mountains and her head and long hair is the grey waterfall. Her face, shoulder and hand are dark green.  See it? You must use your imagination a little here! It's more of a feeling! I feel that she is really there. I am painting my feelings from my sub-conscious, I had no idea I was painting this at the time. This shows you how one paints feelings more that what one sees after a long time (25 years for me).

 I am painting myself reflected in the landscape. I read in a book about art by Agnes Martin "Say to yourself: I am going to work in order to see myself and free myself. Whilst working and in the work I must be on the alert to see myself. When I see myself in the work I will know that that is the work I am supposed to do."  Well there you have it, I am AT LAST (after 25 years of struggling) painting the way I should be.   I'm not happy with the final, I have more work to do yet.)

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