Friday, 8 May 2009

Hello Darkness My Old Friend. I've Come To Talk With You Again..."

"Hello Darkness My Old Friend. I've come to talk with you again..."
Acrylic on Board

I wanted to produce a Self Portrait, to act as a kind of focal point for the group of paintings, I have a photo taken when my Dad was first in hospital after the first Stroke, I'm stood in our living room gazing upwards towards the camera, clutching my Dad's jumper, the look on my face completely sums up my fears. I tried painting from the photo, but found it increasingly difficult to paint myself - especially given the circumstances surrounding the photo. So after much thinking, I hit upon the idea of portraying myself from the back, so you can't see my expression, it leaves it up to the viewer to envision my expression and emotions.
When I was a kid, I had a silver and red oil-skin coat, that was far too big for me, but I insisted on wearing it [often when it wasn't raining]. When I had it on I felt like the Fisherman from outside the Chippy, and I felt invincible and protected, I guess it was sort of like a comfort blanket. I wanted to use it in the painting as a symbol of that protection, as darkness starts to surround me, something I could use to ward off the nightmares and fears.
The composition was partly inspired by the cover for Stephen King's 'It', and from the opening scenes with George, but also by the cover for another of his novels, 'The girl who loved Tom Gordon'. There's also references to the films 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' and 'Poltergeist' - children back lit against glowing lights [a television screen in 'Poltergeist' and a open doorway in 'Close Encounters'].

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