Autobiographical Mobile: My painting diary – Day 1: Mallorca
Since I started The Daily Norm last year, in those unenriched days when my interaction with the abundant world of the blogosphere was only just beginning, I have featured a fair number of my own paintings on my blog, attempting, as I have posted their photos, to explain some of the meaning behind what are often quite complex painted images. For my latest painting, I am changing tack.
In my current work, which has now been sitting upon my easel for some weeks, I am exploring an autobiographical subject matter on a grand scale (the canvas is 120cm x 120 cm, so a fair size for my lounge-come-studio to take when you consider that when I paint, I basically take over my kitchen – leading to some interesting food results when the paint gets too close to the oven top). Because the work is essentially a self-portrait albeit explored through a catalogue of symbols on a large Mediterranean background, I anticipate working on the canvas for some time before it is finished, particularly as painting is not my day job. Since that will mean a sparsity of artwork available for Daily Norm consumption in the foreseeable future, and because I plan to paint a plethora of details, I thought it would be equally relevant to blog about the painting as it progresses, rather than ramble at length when it is eventually finished.
You join me then in what is the first post of my painting diary, a set of hopefully regular accounts cataloguing my progress on the work. In my first instalment, I present the background of my work. I decided to set the piece on a quiet, rocky beach, somewhere on the island of Mallorca. The background is far from finished – this is just a sketch of where the finished scenery will be set, but it provides enough structure, allowing me to build the details of the painting on top of it, layer by layer.
The background is loosely based on Torrent de Pareis, a beach in Northern Mallorca which provides stunning natural scenery but which, for the purposes of my painting, provides the right balance of solitary surrealism to cast the perfect backdrop to my self-analysing piece.
Since the painting will be a take on my story, it’s only appropriate that I should set it in the Mediterranean and on Spanish soil since Spain has, for most of my life, proved to be a consistent inspiration in my art and in my aspirations for life. While I have spent the majority of my time in Andalucia, my trip to the island of Mallorca this time last year inspired me more than any other. Expecting an island full of package holiday tourists and English menus, I was surprised, if not stunned by the incredible coastal scenery to be found around the island (once we fled from the ugly shadows cast by Magaluf and other tourist dystopias). The waters are such an incredible shade of blue, and the rocky covey beaches so idyllic and colourful, that seeing is believing. I accordingly enclose just a few of the shots I took of Mallorca’s incredible coastal scenery last summer – the colours alone are an art form in themselves. I just hope that my painting does Mallorca justice, even as just a background to a far deeper work.
See you for the next instalment of my painting diary.
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- Part 1: Mallorca: The Jewel of the Mediterranean (catavino.net)
- Sunday Supplement ITALIA – Tuscany Wharf: 15km to San Gimignano (normsonline.wordpress.com)