I am pleased to confirm that I have now officially completed my first painting of 2010 - hooray! 'Mildred' was painted for a friend as a birthday present and was safely delivered and received this weekend. Here it is already in situ:
This painting was developed very intuitively. The only prerequisite was that the painting must include a full Cabbage Patch Doll figure. My friend had lent me several figures as source material for another painting 'Cayley' last year.
A cartoon sketch of the figure was initially drawn onto paper but was not transferred onto the canvas until towards the end of the painting process. The background was devised around the patterned lace and flower elements. The figure is purposely integrated into the background rather than simply superimposed:
This is a stylistic device that has become integral to a lot of my work, and is used to play around with the illusion of depth and pictorial space. This is coupled with the juxtaposition of flat graphic colour with painterly and textured areas.
It was good to work on a smallish canvas with a single subject. I feel that it not only helped to focus my attention, but the strict deadline ensured that I made confident decisions and did less (although admittedly still some) faffing!
The more I carry on painting the more fearless I become about making alterations and adjustments to the composition as the canvas develops. 'Mildred' certainly evolved into existence on an equal measure of good alternations (how the painting now appears) and bad adjustments (how the painting would appear if ever x-rayed!!). The element of risk taking in painting is very important and must most certainly be encouraged. - it keeps it interesting.
The decks have now been cleared for my full attention to be turned to my main studio practice for 2010 - the Leicester past and present paintings. Progress reports to follow as appropriate.