Monday, 7 January 2013

Feeling my way

The Blindfold (Oil on canvas, 16 x 16 ins)

Sometimes I feel I'm in a darkened corridor, inching my way along the wall, my hands outstretched, looking for an exit. It's an exit that may not be there, but there's a reassurance in the knowledge that I can easily find my way back to the entrance.

I'm still having trouble with my eyesight and am waiting for a hospital appointment to see what might be done about it. Meanwhile, I'm learning to cope with a couple of pairs of glasses for the first time in my life. One pair is for reading and they've already proven their worth, in that my rate of getting through books has increased dramatically. I've also been able to make use of them for cartooning because that kind of work I do quite close to the paper. You'll find some of my newly invigorated cartooning skills over on my other blog, The Cartoonist's Hat.

The other pair is for near distance and they're the ones I'm finding difficult to get used to. They're fine for reading the computer monitor screen and even for messing around in the kitchen, but I've yet to summon up the courage to use them for what the optician prescribed them for - painting.

In part, this is because I'm in the middle of a period of Not Knowing What to Paint. I have it in my mind to tackle some subject matter quite different to what I've dealt with over the last few years. These paintings wouldn't necessarily be to the exclusion of all else but they're things I've wanted to get at for a long time, so I set my sights on getting one or two moving - to no avail so far. 

Which is where the darkened corridor metaphor comes in. I think I know where I want to go, but finding the way into it is proving difficult. I could just retreat to the known exit and resume what I was doing before, but that's happened before and this time I really, really want to see if there's a different room beyond the one I know.


Unknown said...

I'm sure you'll surprise yourself: taking that first step into the unknown is the hard bit: and I hope that the *eyes* thing gets resolved in your favour - I can't imagine what it must be like. In a few months time, will I be looking back at some fascinating new Harry Bell work? Hope so!

Roy said...

Excellent painting, Harry - I really like it. Nicely ambiguous about the subject - feeling her way in a corridor or playing a game...hesitant or confident ... And great draping of the dress and colours.

Not happy accompanying subject matter, but changes in eyesight (just getting new specs) can take some getting used to.

harry bell said...

Alan -- Thanks. I suspect that even the eyesight problems themselves will have an effect and lead to new ways of working. Luckily, I've long had an interest in new ways of producing paintings.

Roy -- I'm delighted you like it. No one ever told me they did before, though I always had a fondness for it. And the ambiguity is a large part of its attraction for me.

Anonymous said...

Well written, if all too brief post. I also like the painting. That Roy, he's got good taste.

Bruce T.

harry bell said...

Thanks Bruce. I like to think my friends all have good taste.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Harry, it's different for everybody I know but I have found that suspending my blog activities (and I am not on Facebook by choice) has led me to a place where I feel free to explore, really explore my own inclinations and intuition. Having that potential audience "in the wings" waiting to see what I come up with next began to be a significant irritant and actually a deterrent to a very personal voyage of discovery. I will show my work again but against a background of personal confidence that I have produced something honest which I and I alone initially valued. If you want to reply please email me: as I am not looking at the blogs so much these days. Hope the eyesight problem is getting sorted out. That must be frustrating for you.

harry bell said...

Thank you, Sheila. I always appreciate your input. In this case I think we may have different reasons for blogging, so I plan to carry on for now. However, I will be emailing you separately about all of this.