Hooray it’s Charlie Brown! He has been sitting on my shelf looking at me for a couple of years while I took my experimental painting hiatus. ‘Blockhead’ is the first painting I have completed for sale for a while and is now available to buy.
I’ve got to say that I forgot how much I love the texture and finish of heavy and soft oil pastels – (they are both a bugger and a blessing to use) and from today, I DO SOLEMNLY DECLARE that I will be working on paintings for sale which continue my theme (which seems to be The Icon Made Flesh) for any of you collectors or new viewers alike. So keep em peeled.
Blockhead. Oil pastel on board 17x17cm (painting size) £450 framed.
First sketch of DLB for a painting in which we find our hero in shadow in a beautiful abandoned room. This has turned into something quite epic and large in my head, so the painting begins. Blossom is now silhouetted in a doorway and the grubby and broken down building into which she peers has some wonderfully magical soft lighting. I want it to be a place that has a mild whiff of menace but also somewhere quite lovely. I’m going in and it’s a whopper, so I might be gone for some time. Deep breath……..
Well, it’s turned into a bit of a monster. This painting is rather large now, and this picture shows the underpainting of the glowing colours and the second sweep in which I intensified the shadows and began to bring shapes into focus. It’s going fine but it’s not a painting yet that I could spend a long time looking at and I’m toying with the idea of getting some sharp geometry in there. The atmosphere and the intention will have to be strong enough to take it so I’d better crack on….
Almost finished The Blossom Dream Painting. I’d really like to scrub this with a wire brush but the base I worked on was grey and I might want some white scratchy marks to finish this piece. I’ll have a think. It’s not always possible to plan ahead and this baby went altogether darker and more shadowy than I’d intended so Ampersand clayboard would have been perfect to scratch back to white but never mind – I’ll have to use the old noggin instead.
Who Knew? In preparation for our doorway painting, Blossom and I have been studying Vilhelm Hammershøi’s beautiful brushwork and I have been amazed by how many paintings he managed to shoehorn his little pooch into. Can’t say I’d noticed before now. Wait! Oh Blossom!! I’ve begged you – BEGGED you not to paint in my reference books. Where’s the turps?
A Blossom a Day no. 490. I had a Dream for a Painting…of Blossom standing in a doorway, strongly backlit with her arms down by her sides. The air is still and the walls are softly shaded. She is standing very still, frozen to the spot, possibly waiting, perhaps about to speak, in a seemingly empty apartment. Part Hammershoi part Close Encounters. Very soft shaded whites and palest blue-greens throughout except for the scorching white light from the back room which bleaches out any details from sight. There is an unclear portrait of a human on the wall and the proportions of the door are human but Blossom is alone. The room is clean and bright and the air is clear and fresh but still there seems to be trapped in the light, a great and terrible melancholy.
I’ve recently switched to Michael Harding oil paints to see what all the fuss is about, and my paintings completely changed in a moment. I know the science, but I couldn’t say for sure WHY these paints handle so differently. What I do know is that I haven’t mixed any combination of colours yet that haven’t been absolutely beautiful to my eye, and working wet in wet is a dream and a doddle. All in all my work just ends up being better than I might have hoped it would be and incredibly, a pleasure for me to look at the colours, shapes and textures rather than at what I might have done differently. Blossom in Oil on Board 80 x 125mm
A Blossom a Day. No.402. The Blossom Massive. This is our largest painting yet at a cracking 24ft x 14ft Blossom had to hold the ladder while I did the high bits. It’s a very special commission for the entrance at the National Portrait Gallery. Wait…. what’s that Blossom? Right. Well, Blossom got the measurements wrong apparently. It was supposed to be 24 x 14 CENTIMETRES and it’s for National EXPRESS. Stares into camera and sighs. 😡 https://www.instagram.com/davidwslack