'Launch' is an idea I had to make a metaphorical equivalent to the Saturn V take-off 40 years ago. Not only is she watching a rocket ascending but she is the rocket ascending. Her shape, the stabability of her feet, strength of legs, movement into the torso and the acceleration into the movement of her gesture which then takes us into the blue beyond - all equivalents of the various stages of movement undergone by launch, but represented by something quite still.........
In this painting I have tried to put the discoveries I've made with 'the Heads' into practice with figures and their environment. 'Summer Storms' and 'Blackbirds' did not really do this, with the former using a stage set type of simplification that avoided the issue.
Somehow I had to use the 'free form' effusions off 'The Head' paintings in a way that became more deliberately a setting, or extension of the figures into landscape. This is the first tentative result.
The whole image is built off the idea of a simple gesture....
Here is a painting that I have been planning to do for ages and finally decided to make it happen. I've used a more procedural approach for this as opposed to the technique of 'The Heads' because the drawing for it was basically a silhouette template and therefore it made sense to use my 'traditional' approach rather than the one I am developing that you see in the series of 'the heads' etc. It is also a much more complex painting and since I am still in uncharted territory with the 'heads technique' it made sense to go about this in the way you see here. I've posted the drawing for it and a half way studio shot of the painting in progress to show you what I mean.
The running woman theme is kinda consuming me at the moment. This is called 'Summer Storms' - I'm trying to push the metaphorical ideas as far as I can and strip the paintings of all unnecessary naturalism. Hence the white and red streamers are lightning, fire, electricity. The colour of the dresses becomes the changing sky, the linked arms a sort of metaphor for attractive charge, or reassurance in danger - the tree standing for blasted oak yet an endorsement of their movement. These are the obvious ones, but there are other deeper meanings that are just gut instinct.
You don't have to 'get' these metaphors, they are just things that occur to me after I have the initial imaginative insight. I then make note of them in order to keep me on track and intesify the original intuitive idea.
After the discoveries I have made with the beach volleyball paintings, particularly with regard to something Kev Ferrara pointed out concerning how my brush shapes, being in a sort of turmoil with each other, yielded the image, I have turned it toward work from my imagination.
The 'heads' are the most recent paintings so far and I have tried to formalise the empirical language of the Volleyball paintings which were derived from dialogue with photographs into a sort of 'evocative cartooning of the mind'. This is pushed most strongly in 'Head 4'.
'Cupboard Love' is a tentative use of the language in a spatial setting, but I mean to push things much further. I'm going one step at a time. In 'All on a Summer's Day' I have tended to rely on the subject alone to tell of a particular way of looking at the world. These new paintings are possibly the first signs that I might have found a way to do this through the painting language itself.
Some really great stuff here Chris. If anything my eyes are distracted by the metal plate's shape in the Summer's Day and Jaw bone in Head 4. I love your colors and approach to these paintings and it is inspiring. Please show more soon!