Saturday, 2 February 2008

Release Me

From the series “Violent Death”

For a long time, my friend Anita has been trying to encourage me to paint. It had never even occurred to me to seriously try to paint, and I just laughed at her suggestion.

I have only two memories of painting at school, which was over 20 years ago. Once was with poster paints when I painted a woman with a big cleavage – and that’s really the only detail I remember! I don’t think it was a particularly fantastic piece of work; I don’t recall any shading or anything particularly expressive about it. The other time was with water colours and I just vaguely remember being shown how to drag the brush across the entire width of the paper again and again to create the sky. It was a rather dull lesson. In fact, neither experience filled me with any enthusiasm, so it’s no surprise that I never picked up a paint brush again.

Although I had felt inspired by Philippa’s work to be creative again, I had never felt inspired to paint in my whole life! Then I saw these paintings on Loaded Brush. The violent nature of the paintings struck a chord with me, particularly the second one, “Blown Away”, as I had been feeling pretty angry and aggressive at the time. The pieces were so powerful and yet so simple.

I decided I wanted to create something expressive, and I had an idea for a painting. The same day I also saw Philippa’s series of paintings entitled "Unrest" and I decided to develop my idea into a series of my own entitled “Violent Death” – I know; it's pretty optimistic for someone who had never seriously painted before to decide to paint a whole series! But my ideas were pretty basic so I was confident that I could manage them. I wanted to depict some of the rage and desperation I was feeling, and also to draw attention to the violent world around us.

I painted my first piece on 16th January and it is entitled “Release Me”. Acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 40cm.


jafabrit said...

I like your painting, it is powerful. all the best with your journey :)

From a fellow artist who started late in life (40).

Undaunted said...

Yay! I have a comment! Thank you so much for your positive comments Jafabrit.

Wow, you started at 40? You look so young in your photo on your blog! It's encouraging for me to know that though because your work is amazing - there is hope for me yet! (I'm 36)

jafabrit said...

I have been painting for 12 years. Thanks for the compliment :)

Your young, you have plenty of time and it looks like you have the passion :)

Undaunted said...

Thank you Jafabrit, your comment helps me to put things into perspective. I swing from thinking I'm an absolute genius to thinking my paintings are school kid standard. Maybe they are, but we all have to start somewhere, right?

12 years? No wonder your paintings are so good! I've been painting for 2 1/2 weeks! So I'm young in both ways :)

Did you have any formal training, or are you self taught?

jafabrit said...

I took my first drawing class at 39 and then an oil painting class at a local college. The painting teacher more or less adopted me and we fondly referred to her as my art mummy. She became my mentor and while I didn't get an art degree I did spend 3 years going to her house once a month for group critiques with other artists.
I did take several life drawing classes and I found those essential in helping me.

Basically I have just spent 12 years learning and doing, and doing and doing :)

gosh, you have only been doing it for a few weeks and so hard on yourself already! Got to start somewhere and looks like a good start to me :)

Undaunted said...

Thank you Jafabrit :) I know, I need to find some balance somewhere.

Your art history is very interesting. There's a lot for me to learn (and think about) from your experience.