I finished this painting a while ago but just let it sit on my wall in my studio before photographing it. I think I took so long as I wasn’t sure if it was finished but also this is a very personal piece.
This is from a few photos that we first took of Anja after her birth. It’s also based on my faded memory of that event.
My poem ‘His Hand’ has been shown on the scrolling text at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, as a part of the Overload Poetry Festival.
I don’t really know more details and had no idea it was accepted, but the lovely Michael Reynolds took the photograph for me.
Saturday evening was our studio’s opening – It was the first art event of mine that I have been to since July 2009! So many people showed up and though they had to climb through the window, it got packed and just kept going.
Here a few progress shots of my latest painting ‘Cinnamon’:
I didn’t expect this painting to take form so quickly, but I have been working on my painting technique for the
last few months and I have found working hard on the undercoat is very important. I used to just coat the canvas in burnt sienna, do a quick pencil sketch of what I wanted to paint and try and build it up from that. But I find actually painting the painting all in burnt sienna, mixing in some raw umbra for the darker parts like eyes, nostrils, bone structure; really helps to shape the whole painting.
Once the undercoat is touch dry I begin with the flesh tones and marking out the highlights. It’s important for me to get the face and flesh elements well underway before worrying about other elements of the painting such as cloth. Because if you fuck the face and flesh up, you better stop there.
Then I begin to work on the background, the hat and top; they don’t usually need as much work. I also start to add more highlights and shade to the flesh.
Then it is just a matter of adding and subtracting highlights and shades.. Often at this point I begin to feel I am getting nowhere as this ‘tweaking’ can take weeks and/or months with some paintings.
I am chuffed with the outcome of this painting and think I have made some pretty important steps technically. I am already starting another painting to join this one and hope to turn it into a series of work.
I haven’t actually got any plans as such for this painting, except that it will be on show for the studio I work in’s opening on Saturday the 17th of September. Which is at the Kreuzberg Bethanien- Mariannenplatz 2
10997 Berlin, U-bahn Kottbusser Tor. 18:
00 to 21:00.
Feel free to come down, and literally, as we are in the basement.