Oil on panel, 12 x 9 inches
Please contact me if you’re interested in this painting.
Seeing is complicated.
I’ve spent more hours than I can count judging colours, trying to match them as closely as I can, learning how to shift them slightly this way or that.
Now, I’m practising combining them in different ways, and my thought process is changing.
In a sense, getting colour right is most of painting. But in another sense, it’s only the beginning. For me now, not having to struggle with getting the colours I want now means I can begin to think more about other aspects of picture making.
Right now, I’m becoming very interested in texture, and how it relates to seeing. If the surface of a painting can be brought alive with texture and variation, it seems somehow to become a more compelling. If I paint something very flat, without modulation of the colour and without much texture, it looks deadened to me, lifeless.
Something about adding texture to the surface makes the painting more lifelike – perhaps just more alive. When I put down paint with a brush now, I’m more interested in trying to find a way to make the paint mimic something about what I’m seeing, rather than laying down flat. This also is the first time I’ve painted with sandpaper!
But if I’m having trouble talking clearly about what I’m doing now when I’m rolling the brush sideways, or sanding back and repainting parts, it’s even more difficult to talk about the rest of painting – the meaning behind a piece.
A lot of it is coming from the objects I’m painting at the moment. The brass pot in the background is a Ganga Jal, or Jamla, a Hindu pot for carrying the holy water of the Ganges.
Hindus believe that scattering the ashes of their dead in the Ganges will bring them closer to Moksha, release from the cycle of death and rebirth. From a psychological point of view, moksha means release, and can also stand for self-realisation and self-knowledge.
Thinking about these things as I was working on this painting may have influenced the way it looks, or it may not, I can’t tell you. But the associations are meaningful, and that’s why I chose this pot as one of my vessels.
Although it’s in the background, the Ganga pot and the ideas associated with it are really the central element.
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