6 March 2017

Yesterday

"Moonlight"
This morning there's blue sky and sunshine but yesterday was rainy and miserable. I went to The Showroom to watch this year's oscar-winning best film - "Moonlight" directed by Barry Jenkins. The cinema was packed and irritatingly there was a fellow behind me who guzzled food and drink continuously during the first hour of the screening with associated sound effects. Damned annoying.

I wanted to be wowed by "Moonlight" but I wasn't. Admittedly, it had its special moments and some adventurous cinematography but in the end I was underwhelmed. The plot didn't grab my interest and I just couldn't warm to the extremely reticent and damaged central character - Chiron who we observe at three stages of his life. 

No. It wasn't my cup of tea. I like films that absorb me - films I can get lost in so that when "The End" is reached I am surprised to return to everyday reality. That's how it was with "Manchester by the Sea" but not "Moonlight". Disappointing.

Shirley was away in Budapest with a bunch of women friends this past weekend. When I got home from the cinema, I baked a steak pie and then got on with my latest picture of Fred Fox. I had been planning to leave the background more or less blank but in the end I decided on a green background. 

This is my fourth picture of Fred Fox. I keep learning techniques and do's and don'ts as I go along. There's a sense in which I am not fully in control of the picture I am painting. Each one has a mind of its own and what I visualise when I set off is never quite the same as what emerges in the end. Bedtime was just before 2 am as a gibbous moon was setting in the west.

19 comments:

  1. I think - and these are just my thoughts - all the fuss that Will Smith and a few others made last year about the Academy Awards is probably the reason "Moonlight" was chosen as Best Picture.

    I like the green/grass background, rather than a blank/white background. However, I still like/prefer the one of Fred you painted the other day with the background greenery not as bright green as the one here. The green used in your previous painting is more "real"; more authentic. It allows Fred's character to shine through. Just my opinion, for what it's worth. :)

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    1. I had the same thought that you expressed in the first paragraph. An element of compensation perhaps. And thanks for your honest opinion regarding the latest picture. Much appreciated.

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  2. I think that every work of art takes on a life of it's own so there's no real surprise that Fred is self determining

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    1. What emerges from my Fred pictures is perhaps a sense of my relationship with him. A mixture of pity, admiration and envy.

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  3. I do not know anything about "Moonlight" and so can not comment on the film. Your review confirms my general view, though: When a huge hype is made about something (a book, film, song, artist...), it often leaves me relatively or completely cold.

    Your fourth fox picture? I can only account for three (including this one), so which one is the mysterious # 3?
    In this latest one, I really like Fred's intense expression. He looks as if he knows something we don't know (which I am sure is true) but wants to find out whether he is looking at friend or foe there.
    The green backgroound is good, too.
    What you describe about not being in full control of a painting is what authors often say about the charaters in their books. To a much lesser extent, I can relate to that: Sometimes I am all set for writing a specific blog post, but as I start typing, the post develops into something different, my thoughts and fingers leading me into a direction I did not entirely foresee or plan on.

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    1. I have just been considering yet more Fred pictures because I am still not happy with him. I am going to try another head but different from the first. Watch this space. Looks like I might miss your birthday.

      I know what you mean about blogposts also having a life of their own sometimes - so that what you end up with may not be what you thought you were going to type.

      By the way, Number 3 wasn't good enough to share with visitors.

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  4. When I paint I never know what the end result will be. Sometimes I just can't cope with the disappointment when it turns out wrong. I guess I haven't got the right temperament to be a proper artist. (I preferred Fox Number 1.)

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    1. Yes. When I look at my foxes, I also like Fox 1 best. But I'm not over with foxes yet. The next one will be just the head again.

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  5. Well, you're certainly closer to your objectives when you paint than I would be if I painted!

    I thought "Moonlight" was very absorbing, but I can see how it might not be everyone's cup of tea. I loved it visually, and I thought Chiron was very compelling as a damaged character with his own inner secrets. I can't imagine how hard it would be to live in that environment.

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    1. Thank you for your take on "Moonlight" Steve. Perhaps being a Floridian you may have been more receptive to this film than I was.

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  6. Are we voting? If so, I like today's fox with March 1 background, and I like the fox portrait (head) in a completely different way. But then, I am not an artist, I only know what I like.

    I admire both your talent and your perseverance, the latter perhaps more than the former. We can't help what talent we do or don't have, but self-discipline and effort are the tools that make talent shine.

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    1. I have been waiting a long while to start making art again. It was always in my bones but I neglected this talent for many years. Work and other stuff got in the way. I hope I will keep going,,, but you never know. It could all fade away again.

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  7. I preferred the background on your first attempt, it was much more natural, though without the lighter strip you used to denote sunshine. Would suggest that you keep the background simple - Fred, after all is the subject of the picture and with a simple, soft background, he will stand out. Beware too many attempts at the same thing, YP, you'll get heartily disillusioned with the whole project (I speak from experience here as many abandoned paintings will testify) ! Go with the first one, but crop the background.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful advice CG.

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  8. I guess I don't have to go and see moonlight. Fred fox is teaching you some good strategy.

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    1. He was a RED fox! Reds are very cunning and very shifty.

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  9. I like the quote (not sure of the author) 'A work of art is never finished; only ever abandoned'. I only wish I could paint as well as you!

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    1. Thank you for sharing that quote Tim. I believe it was by a little known Italian artist called Leonardo da Vinci.

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  10. I'm not an artist so I can only comment as an art appreciator. I preferred your first attempt. I thought it lived. I think that I would walk away from it for a while before attempting another go.

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