Thursday, June 18, 2009

Potrait of Eleanor, completed in about 2 hours in a fit of complete inspiration.

I felt quite good today so I finished the painting of radishes. The image comes from a River Cottage cookbook, and I liked the way the radishes seemed to explode out of the hand, like a firework going off. I wanted to capture the 3-dimensionality of it. I wanted to create a sense of depth with the background receding and the radish roots coming out of the painting and towards the viewer.
It goes without saying I am not happy with it. But I am happy to have finished something. And I already know what I am going to paint next. In fact, I have a few projects in mind. I'm feeling quite energised and inspired right now, it's a nice feeling, a nice change.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm depressed. I have been for about a year. It's a myth about mental illness producing great art. When you're depressed you can't get your tights on without bursting into tears because one leg went on twisted. You sure as hell can't produce art.

Creating art is scary. Really, really scary. It takes self-confidence to think that the idea in your head is important enough to commit to paper. It takes courage to make the first mark on the perfect white paper. It takes concentration to make the hundreds of decisions per minute - what composition, what shape, what colour, what value, what mark, where? It takes willpower to overcome the revulsion at your work, which always deviates from the idea you had in your mind and therefore seems imperfect. It takes an outrageous amount of chutzpah to show your work to anyone else, and I have no idea how anybody ever has the sheer balls to ask another person for their opinion of your work.

I have none of those things right now.

I do have a half-finished painting of some radishes which my sister Stephanie helped me make some progress with. I'm sort of satisfied with it so far. All that I need to do now is, erm, well, is the radishes.


I also found a lovely close-cropped photograph of my daughter eating an apple. I have no recollection of taking the photo, but it really speaks to me. I'd love to do a huge portrait based on it similar to the one I did of Tom. Maybe even bigger. But I am filled with dread at the thought of even starting it.

Apparently many therapists recommend painting as an effective, relaxing therapy for people with psychological problems.