Pink Blouse Polo Shirt Mountains


170422 Pink Blouse Polo Shirt Mountains (2017) oil on canvas 32.1 x 39.2cm

Only had time for one painting today. Still experimenting with high contrast colours, but I think it works better when the dark colours are coloured and not black-ish chunks like the mountains here. Also, it surprises me how solid a lot of these colours look, even though they looked very pale to me when I was mixing them. I’m glad to be loosening up about colour. It’s starting to be fun, and I’m beginning to trust my own eyes to guide me to what I like, regardless of how it might look to people with normal colour sight.

Compositionally, I keep arriving at two objects either side with a space in the centre. Not sure what I think about that.

The dark outlines remind me of late Picabia, and the whole thing looks to me like schlocky cartoon expressionism drawing from the well of Baselitz, Kippenberger, Schutz, Ocampo, etc. I’m not deliberately appropriating that style, more just responding to (a) my colour blindness, which I think makes me favour high contrast brightly coloured paintings, and (b) my impatience, which makes me tend toward fast imprecise brushwork.


Francis Picabia Cinq femmes (1942 app.) oil on paper mounted on canvas 101.5 x 75cm


Georg Baselitz B. für Larry [B for Larry] (1967) oil on canvas 250 x 200cm


Martin Kippenberger Rückkehr der toten Mutter mit neuen Problemen [Return of the dead mother with new problems] (1984) oil on canvas 160 x 133cm


Dana Schutz Mollusk (2008) oil on canvas 55.9 x 63.5cm


Manuel Ocampo An Altar To Aesthetic Misfortune (2010) oil on canvas 190 x 200cm


3 thoughts on “Pink Blouse Polo Shirt Mountains

  1. I’m so glad you’re chancing your own judgment with colour. Second guessing normal sighted viewers is I think a fatal path.

    Your composition in this one is mundane in its balance. Most paintings seem to arrive at a certain balance and it’s not always achieved by plonking forms in a symmetrical layout. You’ve written and done exercises on this not so long ago. Maybe imagine that the painting you are doing is not bound or bordered by the edge of the canvas? The Kippenberger example is totally mundane in the disposition of the figure and objects – yet manages not to bore with the slight off centre-ing. There is also the trick of the figure clearly looking beyond the edge of the canvas which unframes and extends the landscape in our minds.


  2. “Maybe imagine that the painting you are doing is not bound or bordered by the edge of the canvas?” In the past I took it for granted that almost all objects ought to break through the edge of the canvas, and that centred or symmetrical self-contained compositions were intolerably mundane. Probably now I’m erring the other way. Hopefully I’ll get to a point where I can make choices about which way to go with a given subject, but for now there’s a large element of “hit-and-hope”, and then waiting the days or weeks until I see it fresh. For example, it was only after the exhibition in Berlin that I noticed that all the paintings had subjects that were filling the canvas and overspilling at least one of the edges, so every view felt like a standard composition that had been zoomed-into a little (except the table). Since then I don’t think I’ve painted anything like that! But I’ll try again soon.


    • one of the aspects of your posts which most appeals to me Liam is that you sustain objectivity and detachment when you describe what you are attempting and how you perceive the outcome. I’m not lauding your humility here, for, although I judge you to be humble, humility per se is not necessarily an asset anywhere as useful as perception. And, selfishly, for me, I’m keen to get into your mind on these things. I haven’t really thought about why it’s important to me, but I guess that it’s got something to do with my reckoning that I grow a little bit more as time goes by in my understanding of both painting itself, and your crack at it.

      The above sounds a bit lofty, but came about because this blogpost of yours fits the very description I have just given.


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