Perhaps this work speaks for itself. Isolation was on my mind, as it has been for most of us lately. However, it was really prompted by beginning to reread a book about the Symbolists, which mentioned the influence of Mantegna on many French and English Symbolist artists, especially his depiction of rock formations, and ‘tendency to load every rift with ore’.* And this image came, almost complete, to my mind’s eye.
Yet, though it may look like an image of isolation, for me it is more about solitude, which has, potentially, a more positive and fertile element to it—a meeting with the hidden self, thriving beneath our everyday consciousness, while some mysterious source feeds from above.
I was not sure I would complete this image. Once again nothing was going right. But I persisted, and as I (un)painted, I came to an understanding with it.
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Solitude, watercolours, gouache and acrylics (2020)
*Edward Lucie-Smith, Symbolist Art, Thames and Hudson: London, 1972, p. 12