I shared the more recent reworking of this painting on my last blog post. I painted the waves mostly and when I stood back noticed there was what looked like a tiny figure hidden in the water. This was not painted consciously but if he is there then I accept him. It happened a bit like the drawing that I made in the summer called ‘Medea’s heart’. The little heart in the middle of the drawing appeared on it’s own, I didn’t deliberately make the marks. Here’s an image of that so you can see what I mean. My painting seems to take on a life of it’s own sometimes and become something ‘other’.
Here’s an image of the Chagall that I was talking about in my previous post. You can see the tiny figure Bella in the corner. Beautiful. It reminded me of some tiny Picasso sculptures that I saw in the Picasso Museum in Paris with tiny heads and giant bodies. It’s this contrast in scale that is masterful, here’s my sketch of those.
This is my new smaller painting of Lymeregis Cobb with more of the sea coming in. I wanted to show the waves crashing against the wall of the Cobb more clearly as in the original sketch which I’ve already shared on this blog. It’s still not finished but it’s getting there. The wall of the built structure formed a wonderful rigid resistance to the dynamic moving water that was very much part of the memory. The resistance of the oil paint as I apply it to the canvas parallels this in a rather wonderful way.
Another section of the ‘War’ painting from the bottom corner. I was drawn to these two figures. I made the pencil marks first, then got disturbed by a tour going round the exhibition. I came back and added the oil pastel colour. Some of the marks are quite thin and layered. You don’t get an impression of the colour from the catalogue that I bought. Drawing always brings the experience and moment back to me much more fully. I have a little sketchbook and a box of pastels that are quite big and chunky with particular slots for each one which makes responding easier in what was a very busy gallery. Chagall is hugely popular still and it was the last day of the show. A great experience that I will be processing for a long time.
Here’s my sketch made in oil pastel and soft pencil on the spot in front of Chagall’s large painting ‘War’ 1964-66 oil on canvas. It was wonderful to be stood responding to the colour and marks in front of this masterpiece. It really is time-travel I was responding to the actual brushstrokes the artist had made all those years ago. So much is going on in this painting. I bought the catalogue, but you don’t get a sense of the raised bumpy painting especially around the firey areas. Some of the paint is thin and looks almost rubbed on. This is the magic for me and the keys that unlock Chagall as I work. Just me and his painting.