Hodgkin painted feelings, while Bacon searched his violent mind for realities that he empassioned onto canvas. He always painted on the unprepared, raw side of the canvas. The ‘wrong’ side. He discovered that he preferred it, one day when he was broke and it was the only way he could continue painting. What do I paint? I feel it is a mix of the two, with a bit of Freud’s rough, literal and unforgiving urgency thrown in. Looking at what I produce, though, one would never think it. I am so fortunate to have found loving stability in my life that I am not sure any of these men had. And I don’t wish for the tragic circumstances that led to some great art. Yet I feel at a loss as to how to resolve my work, if that is possible. I know that it is not a desired objective to ‘arrive’, but I at least want to be on the bus, going somewhere. The problem is, to be on the bus, I also have to drive it. And so, there is the conflict that has always dogged my life. How to drive the bus and which turns to take. And here, I again remind myself that I am much more fortunate than most. So, I am restricted in my right to complain, scream, get depressed, have self-pity. Which is a good thing—both to know one’s limitations and to know the reasons—and so I still keep learning acceptance, self-worth, self-love, success and power.
About this image
Oil on canveas, 48 x 30 inches
I started with a quiet scene. A photo I took several years ago, on a happy summer walk in Jericho Park, Vancouver. People walking, sitting, reading on a sunny day. I then built, intuitively on the scene, from my subconscious. What emerges is perhaps a comment on our toxic environment, on the violence that continues unabated in our world while we enjoy the pretty colours and shapes that mask an underlying sinister yet normalized dysfunction.
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