Self Portrait. A reworking of a very old idea of mine.
Pen and sepia ink, Chinese ink stick, tea and watercolours on hot pressed Arches 300gms/140 Lb.
180 x 260mm.
made the following perceptive comment about this piece, which sums up a great deal of what I had hoped to convey:'a ... revealing self-portrait that just evokes so much. At first the idea of attaching these gaudy wings to one's own white plumage to be someone one really is not struck me as sad and desperate. Then of course my mind started reverberating with the story of Icarus, or perhaps rather his father Daedalus the master artist and inventor who built the labyrinth and then escaped King Minos' prison by his bold invention of wings. And suddenly the crane's exploit becomes the quest of any artist who seeks to expand beyond the mundane, who will not acknowledge limits and who will use the means of his ingenuity to transcend them.
After that I really looked at the wings and recognized peacock and eagle and blue-jay feathers and loved the idea, that as an artist, no matter how inventive and ingenious we are we always deck ourselves with borrowed feathers, and that's the beauty and the tragedy of it. Western art has always striven for the original as the pinnacle of achievement, and yet we must acknowledge that probably every pose, every story, every color has most likely been drawn and painted by someone, somewhere and we owe a debt to the palace of art stored in all of our heads from unacknoweledged archetypes to the many who have come before us. Then of course there are all the critics and art historians who wish to stick every artist in a book and label their feathers one by one - debt to the 18th century watercolorists, clear drawing ductus that owes to the Italian Reanissance masters, etc...'
The Sanskrit and Pali texts in the bottom left corner say:Reflection
Yet to be achieved through perseverence
Steadfastness of purpose
A closer look reveals that the 'labels' don't actually make sense as real labels, of course, but are words which might be pertinent descriptions somehow (provided you can actually read them - they're intentionally made to be difficult to do so)... Yes, I mixed adjectives and nouns in those - they were chiefly what arose on the instant in my mind as I did them.
I don't know why there seems to be a filmy blur.
Perhaps I need to clean my scanner glass...
Thank you in advance.