Woman with Blue Bow

A Figure A Week ‘Woman With Blue Bow’

I have brought this figure up a number of times when I am working on new work.  It captures something that I try and maintain in more finished paintings but I find extremely difficult to do and that is its gestural quality.  Again it has thin and thick paint and line which are all elements I would like to see in a finished painting.

What I find challenging is maintaining that quality of freshness in a painting which has a lot more paint and a more complicated composition.  This is a gesture painting on a white piece of paper where the paper itself plays an important role in the overall image.  I would not want to replicate that idea on canvas by creating a similar figure with the ‘white’ of the canvas becoming a major part of the composition.  And why not?  Simply because its a large painting and I want more paint on it!  Inevitably however, it becomes overworked and doesn’t maintain that gestural loose quality.  It’s as though I need to paint as if I am continuously in those first ten minutes of painting, but maintained with a painting that I have worked on for weeks.

Of course, a ten minute painting is a different beast then a painting that takes weeks.  But often I can stare at a quick gesture for a much longer period then a more finished painting.  It just captures my imagination more, and that is what I hope to achieve in my more finished work.