I paint a lot of paintings. Some get sold. some come back and go on to another exhibition, some come back again and hang about sulking. Lurkers, my wife calls them. this happens to a few of the best but most get acknowledged by me as not up to the mark. This happens because when you’re working to an exhibition it’s not always possible to get a good perspective on all individual works.
What to do? I had a good feeling about the ideas in the first place or I wouldn’t have started them. When they come back some get shamefacedly trashed but some get a new life, either by being whizzed up a bit or by addition or subtraction of subject matter. Take “Bologna Garden” for example;
The two figures were inspired by a love I have for 1950’s illustration and had been, it now seemed to me, stuck into a site for no good feeling. So, in order to take a new look and preserve what I liked, they had to come out;
I left it a while and let ideas percolate. The classical nature of the sculpture (it’s Hercules, by the way) led to some ideas about a sculpture garden;
which I drew in with Photoshop, and others followed;
But I wanted a human presence, and one which had some connection, however tangential, with the site. As often happens with me, this turned out to be a nude woman. A sketchbook drawing done away from the studio have me a sort of thing that felt right;
So in came the model and in she went;
Not quite finished yet but mostly there. Then we find out if anybody wants it.