Saturday, October 4, 2008

Islands of the Mind

Here is the first of a series of paintings which are inspired by my time in England.

The shot above shares a little of the ambiance of its creation-- working on a rainy day in an old country house in wales as the strangely bright gray light of the late afternoon spills in.
There are two inspirations behind the painting.

First, my visit to a Dali exhibit at the MoMA. Dali had a way of painting his surrealist scenes with strange, curvaceous and highly suggestive hills and mountains. So much so that they seemed more psychological than representational. His work was of course described as deeply subconcscious and Freudian.

The second inspiration is my recent stay on the Southern coast of England. The cliffs and coast actually look like this. As I stood, and stared out to sea, I couldn't help but ponder if the wonderful moment, the convulsed cliffs, and the smooth sea was purely a fabrication of my mind. Perhaps Dali wondered the same things.

I am tremendously enjoying this simplified style of painting. It is alot more challenging than it looks to get these paintings right. Because there are such few elements, each element must carefully be positioned and proportioned in relation to the rest. The raw simplicity of the composition gives additional power to the colours. The colours then set the mood and the sparse set of symbols open up the scene for rich emotive interpretations.

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