Monday, 29 July 2013

Bonfire of the Vanities

Gateshead Millennnium Bridge (work in progress)
(Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 ins)

I began the difficult task of destroying canvases today. With a house move on the horizon, some downsizing is necessary and the studio contains some very big canvases which I know will never fit my new studio space.

Ripping up unfinished work that I know would never amount to anything was easy (psychologically, at least; physically it wears me out!), but when I got to one that I could see might well have been a good painting had I finished it -- that's hard.

The painting above was started in a greater mood of optimism than I currently enjoy.The canvas was one of several large ones I brought back from University and I began this painting of Gateshead's iconic bridge without any real thought of what I might do with it should it be finished. It soon became clear, however, that even were it to be finished, at four by six feet it would be much too large for me to transport to any of the exhibitions I could see in the future.

Looking at it now, I think it might be worthwhile doing a new version on a much reduced scale. File under: Future Thoughts.


FTL said...

I don't know if I could destroy works like that; I admire your resolve. I do think you should put Millennium Bridge on the future to-do list, though.


Alan said...

It does look like a work with great potential - as it stands (stood?), there's almost an epic scale to it - something like a pastiche of a 1930s movie poster for Things To Come, only brighter. Hope you get inspired once more when the move is complete.

harry bell said...

Bill, Alan -- thanks for your comments. I think there's a fair chance this painting will happen again at some point.

Sheila Vaughan said...

I like that you understand that a painting is an intellectual and emotional process and that it is in your head anyway. Yes I do really like this painting but destruction, decay, is part of life. I recently accidentally ripped a tear in a canvas I was working on. I decided against repairing it as "buyers" apparently don't like damaged goods, however well you repair them. But it's ok. The painting lives on in my head to be developed into new paintings.

harry bell said...

Yes, Sheila, you're right. The picture is in my head and undergoing a process of change and reappraisal. If I do have another go at it, it'll be an entirely new painting.