It’s All Hallow's Eve! 🎃
Since I am apparently past dressing up and bobbing for apples (not by choice, no one seems to be doing it this year) I’m celebrating by showing you the hideous and horrific top four of my paintings that have gone horribly, horribly wrong. Brace yourself…!
1. "Sea Moss", AKA the gum wall
It was the heady, early days of painting and one dark night this disaster formed on the canvas. I got slap happy on the paints and gave no thought to colour and form. I tried my best to warm to this piece and was just starting to find some credibility in it when I was introduced to a picture of a chewing gum wall. REVOLTING. I gagged and put the painting outside to haunt the rest of the world.
Chewing Gum Wall, Seattle. The wall of mastication and dried saliva. Wedding photos in front of the gum wall?! Rank. I even found some pics in Google of people licking the gum wall. LICKING IT.
Re-visiting the painting a few days later I washed it with blues and finished it off with a gloss varnish. The name ‘Sea Moss’ jumped out at me. It’s an underwater flower bomb dredging up salt air winds, fishing nets, seagulls cawing and shoals of tiny fishes swimming amongst thick seaweed, anemones and coral.
2. "Vert et Crème", AKA bogey bomb
Awful, isn't it? Yes, this painting is a shocker. I'm surprised I could get to sleep with it laying there on the table in the next room.
I woke up the next morning and got straight to work. It had to be covered up immediately. And out of bogey bomb did appear...
3. "Self-Portrait", AKA call the exorcist
Argh, gah. This one is embarrassing.
One night I sat in front of a mirror and a square canvas and embarked on a self-portrait. I persistently re-arranged a face which refused to resemble even minutely my own. It soon became clear that this wasn't going to be a painting I would want to advertise (yet here I am showing you eh?). In frustration I brushed over it with black and went to bed...
Bit creepy. Not something I'd want to catch glaring at me in the middle of the night. Or day, even.
In one last effort I went at it again, this time with a grey/white acrylic. I also painted the eyes out with the intention of painting them again more accurately. I sat back on my heels, reflected on the hours I had vainly spent trying to paint my own face and took a long hard look at this terrifying apparition. It returned my stare with a threatening and eerily smug smile. The painting had won. And it was planning to float off the canvas and eat my face in the night. Something had to be done, and quickly.
I mixed a tonne of acrylic with PVA and set about manipulating it into the below abstract. It has waves of swirling colour, movement and texture. You would never know what lies beneath...
4. "Your best mistake yet", AKA Your best mistake yet
This has been a much contested painting amongst my friends, some of whom think it's a nice painting. For me, it looks like someone threw a toad in the air and shot it against a concrete wall. It was the first of three mock-ups for a commission for quite a large painting. And thank god - I wouldn't sleep at night handing this over!
I layered over it with cerulean blue and flower-bombed it with blues, greens and whites, then I flower-bombed it again with some pink, purple, gold and silver and mottled the background with a darker blue. I love the outcome. A total accident but a favourite of all my paintings.
And that's the top four wrong'uns - there are many more!
That's it for this month. However you observe Halloween, if at all, have a gd'un! I'll be spending the evening with paintings and a scary film Xx