Few things in life have annoyed me as much as this painting.
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This is based actually on a frame of a JohnOfJordan video for Valentine’s Day. Hair slicked back, with a rose in my mouth (though given the position of the rose in the painting it probably isn’t apparent.) I just found it a compelling image and wanted to represent it in another fashion.
I don’t really remember much about how I painted this. What I do remember was an irritating inner critic who kept telling me everything I did was wrong. I remember being so despondent that I decided I would ‘sleep on it’, only to wake up twice in the middle of the night to try again. I splashed paint on and decided it was horrible and brushed it as widely and as thinly as I could. I tried to scratch off parts of it with a rag. At one point I splashed a coloured wash across it. Each time I had a feeling that I was making it worse but I couldn’t stop myself.
The thing that strikes me about this sleep deprived night is that I had no clear idea of what I was trying to achieve. Sure I was using a photograph and sketch as a reference, but I wasn’t trying to recreate that scene literally. No, I wanted to embellish it and change it. And the next morning I think my inner critic was sleeping because I began to see a lot of merit in all the different variations I had attempted the night before. They all seemed compelling, but I did feel hopelessly inept (and with good reason, I’m a complete beginner). Somehow I managed to put all the personal misgivings and fears and doubts aside and paint what you see above.