Blackpaint 12

Trying out the “Van Gogh” method of drawing I mentioned yesterday (using no shading but that of closely drawn lines), I found that I didn’t know how to do it; for example, should all the shading lines point the same way?  It will be easy enough to find out and not worth mentioning perhaps, except that it illustrates a problem faced by the self-taught in all fields; that of patches of deep ignorance in technique.

I remember Rolf Harris explaining to an amateur painter on TV about reflections in water, how a tree’s reflection, for example, goes straight “down” rather than “across” the surface.  This painter was working outdoors, with the scene in front of him and yet he’d not noticed this.  I suppose it goes some way to explaining that apparent inability of many Renaissance artists to do a good infant, that I was writing about the other day.  There must be something in the way the brain processes the information that’s in front of the eyes, that refuses to register the “truth”.

Some interesting stuff in Daniel Farson’s book on Bacon, “The Gilded Gutter Life of FB”; Bacon “believed (that Picasso’s Guernica) reeked of propaganda”.  Also, the opening scenes of “Last Tango in Paris” were based on Bacon’s work (haven’t seen it, so can’t comment) and also Hannibal Lecter’s cage in “Silence of the Lambs”.

Last night’s painting has now acquired a lot of white “strapping” around the black areas and some Prussian blue and black additions that look like an anvil poking up towards the top left hand corner- or maybe an electric hand drill.  The trouble is, if you leave it around it grows familiar and, far from breeding contempt, it seems to gain credibility, or integrity – to me, anyway. 

Watched the Ballets Russes programme on TV; that incredible end to “L’apres midi d’un Faune”, where the faun appears to masturbate on the scarf of the departed nymph – or to “achieve climax”, as one old dancer put it.  Now I understand why audiences found it shocking.

Listening to: “Tonight at Noon” by Charles Mingus – now there’s a great title; I think I’ll nick it for a picture.



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