As an artist I have felt stuck for some time and in my previous blog I talked about the difficulties and frustrations of that state which assails most artists at stages in their lives. Losing a close family member does not help and as I sensed beginning to come out of the emotional darkness from that event so finally my endeavours to move on in my art practice have begun to have more positive outcomes.
I began ‘The Way from Eleusis’ nearly two years ago and I have been trying to capture the magical feeling of being sat amongst the flowers on the ancient processional way from the mysteries in Eleusis to the acropolis in Athens, surrounded by light, colour, swifts, butterflies, bees and a sense of connection to place.
Since the summer of last year the triptych has been hanging in our living area nagging at me in terms of, ‘well I’m sort of OK but really you can’t leave me like this!’ I felt guilty about it but did not know what to do to sort it. Oh, I have lots of tricks and technical skills acquired over 50 years of painting in oils but, and it is a BIG BUT, I did not know how to bring the work to an emotionally satisfying conclusion and one which expressed what I felt about the sense of place until a couple of weeks ago. All of a sudden I had a new way in to the paintings. It may have been the short holiday in Venice which lifted my spirits or a chat with one of the famous bronze horses in the Basilica, whatever, something worked.
I decided to treat the three paintings as separate entities. I felt that the left hand one of the three was alright so I tackled the right hand one first as it had fewer issues and then finally moved on to the more difficult central panel. Experimentation with textures and overlays along with some decisions about which were the most important elements to focus on finally paid off and I have finished. The painting(s) now work in their own terms and I can let go of their need and my guilt just in time for my next visit to Keramikos to experience the place again with who knows what results……. Phew!