The Blue Elephant In The Natural
Firstly let begin with the explanation of the profound and quirky title. The name of the piece is rather metaphoric, when I was at the coast in Skegness, I saw a boat yard which was surrounded by these steely blue railings and at the time I was trying to capture more of range of narratives, which included capturing some man-made features within the natural.
The impression I got was of these cumbersome, ugly metal railings in amongst this natural beauty, which was being lost in the translation. I thought of a large clumsy elephant simply sitting there, not realising that it was distracting from what was around it, not acknowledging that it was, perhaps, drawing some focus away from the complexity and beauty of the natural landscape which failed to engulf it.
I chose the En Situ piece, of similar title, to work form initially, because I thought that the composition was quite striking, the spaces seemed to work really well with each other, the sky, the sandy pathway, the railings and I was quite excited for it to be the first one to transcribe from, with the adoption of this new thought process on the development of a painting and the visual journey of a painting.
The painting itself has adopted the more spontaneous style which I addressed, and so there’s little to comment upon the progression really, it has been more of a visual progression for each of the larger pieces. One thing to note is that I do begin by looking at the structure and the basic principles of the En Situ piece, however as time transgresses, a more organic process exudes and it really becomes more about being daring and seeing what might work and detracting from what we realise won’t.
There comes a stage when I say to myself, ‘Is there anything you could add to the painting, that would enhance the visual narrative, beyond what can already be comprehended’, if this turns out to be a satisfied not really, then I assume the role of moving swiftly on to the next project, there will always be a stage to come back an reflect upon the decision further, though I have realised that the painting needs time to breathe, to settle and allow everything to be digested.
As of yet, since the time when I left the painting, I have not ventured back to change anything, I believe now, it is what it is meant to be, I don’t think that should be challenged, with the possibility of over elaborating the visual which is very simple and honest and has the integrity it deserves, so deliberating if there’s anything I would change about it or the process, I would have probably liked to work outside on it, it was created in the studio, but then I may not have achieved a similar visual, I believe that it can relate to the smaller version, though expands quite dramatically from it, which is what I envisaged it progressing towards.
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The Blue Elephant In The Natural 2014, Oil on Canvas