Here’s an abstract piece I did a while ago. I thought it would be a good one to critique. When I was young I loved anything which was ‘free’ like most children. I would go into wallpaper shops and beg old wallpaper books to cover my school books. I loved the patterns colours and textures of these books – they have probably contributed to my fascination with surfaces.
I used to go into travel agencies and get lots of free brochures. I loved the colour pictures in these free brochures. They showed places that seemed romantic and very far away. I liked the silver mountains and blue skies, the very green grass and the ‘outdoors’ wholesome feel of those ‘healthy’ places. Living in a smokey city, I longed to go to these places. In this painting, ‘Germany before the war’ some of the ideas are there, but by using colour relationships, I wished to convey something extra. At the time of the painting, I was writing about the use of German myth in art and design and how it was used, and this very much influenced this painting. I think my favorite fairytale authors the brothers Grimm may got into the fabric of the painting somewhere and Johanna Spyri’s book ‘Heidi’, when she comes down from the mountains and goes to Frankfurt (a kind of reverse wishful thinking on my behalf).
“Germany before the War’ attempts to idealise the calm, folklore, passed down through images in books that informed me of Germany as a child. It contains a hint of German Expressionism, in as far as the painting is gestural. I have muted down the German Expressionist colours, (they used a much brighter palette). I have cited Anselm Kiefer as an influence on this painting, not because of the style (worlds apart) but because of the way he retells German History.”
Please feel free to critique this work – all constructive criticism and any questions are always welcome.
Acrylic paint on canvas
Measurements Approx 34in x 20in