Last year I often made random marks and hoped they’d eventually develop into spaces and forms, like a world where things could happen. These marks were the earliest stage of that evolution, so I called them primordial soup. Today’s paintings reminded me of those, because these were made in a similar way, except that now there are definitely forms (life forms? primitive objects?) taking shape in illusionistic spaces.
When I painted these I gave almost no thought to the forms. I concentrated only on the basic principles of representing form and light in space, mostly from what I remember of Rudolf Arnheim’s Art and Visual Perception. I start with the background and work forward. I don’t have much of a sense of how the picture will look until I finish it. I thought this coloured one (below) was a total write-off when I was about half-way through, but I finished it anyway, and when I put the foreground objects in, the whole thing made a lot more sense.
On reflection, this painting reminds me of Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (1963). I grew up on both.
The yellow forms on the ground in my painting also remind me of Schutz’s painting, Hand (2004).