Life Art

This is a painting process that used videos of a father and daughter I turned into a selection of images, and then incorporated a drawing of a landscape in a book. In fact, it reminded me to never paint from another painting or drawing, because it incorporates all its mistakes. Normally I do not. The drawing was checked against the nearest photograph I could find online. I am happy with the end result. A friend has compared it with another painting, after which I cannot remove the association from my head. Scroll down to see the progress of this, shown in three stages.

It starts below with a coloured drawing and the use of negative under-painting colours. So the colours are (usually) opposite on the colour wheel to what is coming, warming up the sky and providing background to the flesh if and when the blue shows through. For example, she is a blond, and his jacket was not pink at all. I expected all houses to be brick, and I did this until a photo later showed otherwise. Note how marker pens for the landscape show through the chap's jacket. I could see that my portrait of the man had to avoid looking like Bill Oddie. The image is 1600 by 1200 pixels shown at 37.5%.

Then comes the not-enough-detail view towards the finished painting. This involved quite a fight with the under-colours, and marker pens, and raised the question if this is a good method. I haven't done it this way until recently, and perhaps I should not. At one time a successful preparation was all over pink. Perhaps I should do that again. The image below is 1100 by 1200 pixels and is shown at 50%

Cornish Gothic was completed late on 10th June 2018 in acrylic. The image is 1100 by 1200 and is shown at 50%. This is as accurate to the visible colour of the painting as I can get: the contrast is still higher in some respects. The comparative shift of the tower between stages two above and three below is due to stage two's photographic converging parallels correction and rotation; stage 3 is the more accurate with a rare accurate-enough photo of the painting. Is it Fowey? I have deliberately left the clock as gold, when only its figures are gold, to say that it is not. Not quite. I've left in a few throwaway paint marks as well, fed up with never quite achieving representation.

So why the name Cornish Gothic? Because my friend likened it to American Gothic, which featured recently on a programme on BBC 4 presented by Waldemar Januszczak. He said that no one knows what it means, but it has come to mean small town prejudice or small town resiliance in the United States. By Grant Wood, the man is based on his dentist and the woman is his daughter, acting the part. There are likely overtones of death as a theme. (Picture via Wikipedia).

Below is the completed image at full size in order to see the detail.


Adrian Worsfold