Sunday, 14 October 2012
shock of the pink
You may feel a little shocked by the pink of these - not my usual take on colour.... so I will explain with a brief story....
A few days ago my son (who is autistic, for those who do not know), came home from school and the first words he said to me were: that lipstick is too pink!
Now I knew he was just being honest. And he did have a point. I think I must have found said lipstick at the bottom of my make-up stash and given it a try for the heck of it, or something. My lovely son was just being honest in his usual very honest way and we moved on to talking about the school day etc...
Later I got thinking about lipstick and shades of lipstick - and then some time this week too I dashed to my local art supply shop, picked up a tube of cadmium red gouache only to later realise I had bought the wrong cadmium. It's way too orange. It reminded me of the kind of lipstick I used to wear when I first started wearing it, way back. Quite awful. Too pink, too orange, it's hard to find just the right red.
So, all of this. Plus my daughter and I often and recently talking about pink and how girls toys are so overwhelmingly pink and why this is. Stereotyping and the cheapness of producing pink plastic. My daughter is a no-to-pink sort of a girl, her choice and always has been. When she was very little she went through a brief yellow period and everything had to be yellow, and one day she would have a yellow car and live in a banana coloured house..... Now she's, strangely or not, more of a black and grey sort of a young woman of fifteen.
I better talk about the sketchbooks and portraits. Just wanted to give some rambling context.
These were all worked with a lot of energy and I tried my best not to be perfect but allow the water to make all kinds of hints at character. Every so often I feel my painting style 'tightening up' and I get finicky with detail etc... this is when I need to make sketchbook pages and paintings like these, to undo the perfection. My work is about expression, firstly, and I do not strive toward realism.
Garish perhaps, but I like these for their delicacy and brashness. I hope you enjoyed reading about my process.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend