Stephen on oil painting

IMG_5854I’ve been painting in oils again recently, revisiting a part of me left behind in youth. Though I would occasionally turn to them in adulthood and around family over a 30yr period I usually carved in systematic bursts instead or painted in water-colour between domestic duties as part of a practical ” needs must” approach to Art, I wrote occasionally too. However in my 50yr old present I have time to be expansive and get the oils going again and I’ve found that with them a return to a previous me goes hand in hand. My 18yr old self painted figurative narratives set in anonymous interiors led by psycho sexual drama’s inspired in part by Ibsen, Munch and Strindberg… the 18yr old me was a sort of pretentious Goth with no girlfriend and it showed in the oil paintings that leant against the walls of my parents garage. Quality wise they were good enough to get into Art School but not fashionable in a higher education system dominated by abstraction and many successive academic and social diversions including finally having a girlfriend opened a door away from cramped psycho sexual interiors to different expressions. Now with the urge returned to paint in oils, I’ve chosen to do so on canvas previously commenced and jettisoned by Lorna. This gives me her existing marks to strike out from and re-embrace the figurative. Not the confusion of youth anymore, an older more accepting face now peers from the canvas. Still faces and figures in interiors but without so much tension, commencing with my soulmates marks on the canvas allows me to transcribe connectivity in oils, same stuff of life in the subject matter with the same medium leading to a result further along a spectrum. I’ve not re-read Ibsen or Strindberg since my teenage years and deny being a Goth now despite loving early Cure, instead I’m having another go at something that is my version of a Munchesque cycle of life after living a little. Painting in oils leads me to this cycle and reacquaints me with that boy.

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