These paintings have been residents of my mind for many years and have recently surfaced. I am actively looking and thinking about them as I paint my new series, a taste of which I shared recently and you can view below.
The first time I encountered The Nightmare, 1781 by Henry Fuseli, was via the movie Haunted Summer, 1988 about Byron, Percy and Mary Shelley. I have never seen this work in person, but I hope to, and there are several versions!
Lion Attacking a Horse, 1769 by George Stubbs is one I’ve been lucky enough to see at various points throughout my life, but I haven’t seen all the versions . I think it’s fascinating to see the subjects that occupied the minds of these artists, so much so that they painted them multiple times.
The compositions, the ethereal and otherworldly qualities, and existential dread of these paintings set my heart a-flutter.
Here is a sneak-peek slide-show of my new series with the working title of ‘What the Water Showed Me’. Perhaps you can discern the influence from the paintings above. The series title is a reference to Frida Kahlo’s painting ‘What the Water Gave Me’. It also refers to my method. I'm softening my gaze to paint these, allowing my vision to blur so I can begin to see shapes within the water and pigment. My work then becomes a process of helping the figure emerge. These figures come from my subconscious, my conscious-self recognizes them and facilitates their journey into the visible realm. I encourage you to allow your eyes to go out of focus to view them, you might be surprised by what you see.