I like to look back on paintings I made years ago as you may have noticed, I also like to research the work of other artists, I find elements in the work of others which I have been pursuing, often their work has an entirely different theme and looks nothing like mine but I like to ask myself the question “What exactly is it about this that I would like to see in my work?” it may be the sense of isolation or confidence, energy, the quality of line, tonal structure, colour palette, often the way in which a painting becomes a contemplative space, so that I can spend time unravelling it, getting drawn into it and working out what it is communicating to me…and that will be a very unique thing because I have had a unique set of experiences and I take those along with myself to the work when I view it… if that makes any sense! It helps me to push my work to where I want it to go…hopefully. Of course it can be a little like a washing machine going round and round if I don’t then get into the studio and start painting.
To look back at paintings of my own…is slightly different but I ask the same question, at the moment this paintings called “interior Goat” is interesting to me. When I painted it I was considering the way in which all our experiences of animals have a contemporary overlay, of domesticity, urbanisation and consumerism, in farm parks and zoos animals are a commodity, in farming they are a crop…in our homes and smallholdings a pet, even wild they tend to be ring fenced and often fed or encouraged to an area to be viewed. I think of these animals being intelligent sentient beings with concerns and a purpose of their own, a language and social structure, relationships etc. alongside humans who generally don’t really understand or concern ourselves with their (real) needs but keep them for our own purpose. I could (and have) write a very long essay about this but in short the point is, that this painting communicated a bit of that to some people… My ideas have shifted a little and the idea I want to communicate is similar but not the same, apart from the quizzical look on the face of the goat and the pink patterned background are the only elements which lead to a different meaning than purely a goat in “Bucolic Splendour”, pasture or seemingly wild landscape. The pattern stands in for this, in that it represents contemporary society and people and the goat is a 21st century goat trying to navigate its place in this world.
I am sure that is as clear as MUD!
If you would like to further contemplate “Interior Goat” you can find it here as a greetings card.