60 x 45cm; 18 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
At last, something to 'show'! I have started a new painting class where we are looking at and being inspired by Chagall, Degas and others. I cycle 20 km to the class so I am using quick drying acrylics on smallish boards. Chagall's paintings often feature invented compositions, inspired by his Jewish childhood in a poor Russian village or Biblical stories and evoke a sense of child-like whimsy or naivety. They include non-literal narratives, theatrical, with distorted scale and strange perspectives. He uses non realistic, reduced or full pallette luminous, jewel-like colour to evoke mood, time of day. A heightened sense of drama can be achieved by employing contrasting elements eg dark/light values; warm/cool colour; coloured/black outline; hard/soft edges.
My 'Chagall' piece is inspired by my childhood in St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland - the bully gets his come-uppance at last and the fields are represented by painting the designs from two tiny scraps of fabric that I have saved from 60's A-line dresses my granny made for me.
I made a very pleasing discovery when Googling to confirm my memory about the dog star (Sirius or God star) being used by east coast fisherman to guide them to harbour - the only reference I found was from a wonderful folk singer/song writer, Tom Fairnie, in his song Rolling Home (avail. under creative commons). When I am creating, I often listen to just one piece of music (not necessarily related in any obvious way to the work) . I find that switching on the music puts me instantly in 'the zone' and I think provides a consistent harmony to the piece. Rolling Home is the background music for Dog Star Strathspey. Thank you for sharing your songs with the world, Mr Fairnie.