My work often has a sub-context even if at first sight it seems strictly representational. I don't really like to explain paintings too much but I suppose this concept is a little more abstract and possibly requires some explaining. This is my latest self-portrait. It's the first in what I hope will be an ongoing series of psychobiographical landscapes. It is painted directly over a self-portrait that had tormented and subsequently led me into a period of depression. I am attempting here to visualise something of how it felt to be in that state. The impasto remanence of the original self-portrait is clearly visible in the right light and important to the work. This is as much a self-portrait as any other I have painted.
The physical self-portrait that is underneath the landscape is the original version of a self-portrait that I would later finish on a different canvas. Things got bad enough that I had to discard the original version and start again. It was at this time that the concept to try and visualise this all too human experience came about. I had a psychological block with that canvas, which was quite evident as it only took a few weeks to finish the second version, having spent over 3 months languishing with the first.
I think a lot of people battle with some degree of depression, a word I hesitate to use. For me it's a question of getting the balance right, however, in this instance, the balance was more than a little off. Evidently, I'm no writer, and the writers I like such as Hemingway would probably say that I have said too much already, it's what I like most about Hemingway, he doesn't really tell me how it felt, he writes so well and true that I feel it for myself
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