Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wreck No.5

oil on canvas 91x91cm

Let me introduce this by writing what someone else thought about the painting at first sight.

A little while ago, when this was almost finished, an old pal came round to the house. As soon as he entered the room he started looking at the painting. I started explaining about the Wreck series, but he motioned me to silence and said that he would tell me his own reading of it.

He started by saying that it was a beautiful landscape, possibly Northern France or Germany, very pastoral. He spoke about the clouds, and then said that the tank looked like a beast. He liked the way the grass on the right blew into the crop field, and led you back to the wood. He stood and looked at it a bit more, then asked if he had got it right.

Well, he had. He’d ticked all the key elements. ‘Beautiful landscape’, ‘Pastoral’, ‘Beast’. He even got the French location right. As you can imagine, I was well pleased.

This painting seems to have taken ages to do. I think I started it in May, but then I had to stop for a week for a big priming session. Wreck No6 has been on the go at the same time, and Madam has had the few days off in the house. If you take that time away, then I suppose it’s been reasonably efficient, but everything still seems to take such a long time. There’s no specific music mood primer for this, but I did enjoy being reacquainted with Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ - that guitar solo from ‘Time’ still fair blows the cobwebs away.

Anyway, I’m glad that Bill understood that the piece wasn’t just militaria (i.e. a portrait of a tank in a field) but more like a slain dragon in a landscape, and when I explained the ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ tradition - the evidence of Death in a pastoral Idyll - it seemed to make sense to him.

As I hope it does to you…

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