No Longer Karen Little oil on aluminium, 123cm x 230cm, 2011
click an image below to view painting in detail:
Working through many transformations and overcoming many problems, both within the figure and general composition, this really was a challenging painting. If x-rays were to be taken, I’m sure a very peculiar journey would be revealed.
"No Longer Karen Little" began as an extension of the non-portrait heads I had painted previously in that I wanted to expand that approach into a full figure piece. Looking back at my initial sketchbook notes, I mentioned the idea of really cultivating the space and creating an accuracy of reality whilst enjoying abstract qualities. The fusion of a form of realism and pure abstraction (and the use of emotive-aesthetic colour) definitely emerged as a prominent concern as the painting progressed. I also mentioned the idea of playing around with the body and creating a sense of altered reality and “The moment when subjective reality coincided with the sublime”.
Personal or subjective realism and an interest in the sensation of reality as opposed to a depiction of reality is definitely a significant strand within my work. Other elements were
an irrepressible dark sense of humour and a
precarious combination of dichotomies: beautiful yet ugly, serene yet disturbing,
both harmonious and chaotic.