Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Room-Mate

Last year, shortly after I started the Home Project, the beginnings of which you can see here and here, I stretched several small pieces of canvas on wood with the intention of doing more oilstick drawings. I got sidetracked by deciding to work on a large painting, rather than work small again, which resulted in the large painting of the main house of my formative years, Kingswood. I have since entitled this body of work Memory is My Homeland. 


After stretching the canvas on the wood, I gave it several coats of gesso. This is especially important as the media I was planning to use was oilstick.


For many years now I have painted a ground coat on a gessoed canvas in quinacridone violet. I think there is a luminescence to this colour and I don't mind if it shows through in a finished work, so I can leave edges rough if needs be.


In my current series my desire is to show more than simply the architecture of a place where I lived, but things associated with those places. Over the year that I haven't worked on the small canvases, I have kept them in mind. When I came across a Polaroid of an oil portrait I had painted of a woman who was briefly my room-mate in a shared flat in 1981, I thought to take that memory and do something with it. I have previously spoken of this place and its relation to the series here.  The Polaroid of the painting is all that exists of the portrait of a room-mate whose name eludes me, though I remember quite a few things about her with fondness.


Room-Mate, oilstick on unstretched canvas, 41 cm x 34.5 cm, 2020


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