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  • Louis Jeck Prestidge

Me, Painting and playing with my mind.

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

So this is my first blog ... I'd like to to take this opportunity to talk about painting. What do I paint? Where does it come from? ... the soul? the part of my brain that regulates sado-masochism? Guildford?. What am i trying to say? Well i'll start by saying that i make paintings because i appreciate a good painting. Whether its a Rembrandt, Velasquez, Hopper or Hockney, I like the impact that a great painting has when I see it in the flesh. Impact can come from the style, content or from something unusual in a painting such as the composition, tone, colour, light, a penis, Paul Daniels. Generally i find that a great painting is very difficult to distill in terms of its constituent parts, really good paintings just happen. It's a manifestation of ones own experience.

Since lockdown i have worked hard in my smallish bedroom at home on small to larger scale paintings. I have deliberately focussed on painting from found images as apposed to painting from my imagination. I have felt that painting directly from images was cheating in some way and i had to produce my paintings totally from my own mind. I think that although admirable i was giving myself a challenge. I always wanted to attack the canvas with colours and i had this romantic notion of what painting is. I like to work quickly. But sometimes its worthwhile to slow it all down, think about it, plan it out. I've learnt to slow down and as my technique has developed i can now make more practical decisions on where the painting is going.

This painting is from a still from the movie 'A Woman Under the Influence'(1974) by John Cassavetes. Ive been working on it for about a week. I am trying very hard to get the subtleties of tone in the image. I'm working from a low res jpeg as its a zoomed in image. I like the working from old movie stills, the colours are strong and the depth of field is phenomenal, far superior to digital film which seems very flat in comparison. In this painting i want to transcribe the intensity of feeling that i experienced watching it, the film is very intense, personal, and about interior space, (mental and physical). I cropped an image from a scene in which a psychiatrist is attempting to calm a woman down who is having a breakdown. He is the archetypal softly spoken, bespectacled, well dressed male doctor who constitutes the morale high ground in such a scenario. He simply embodies the phrase 'It's for the best' as he pulls out a strong sedative intended for the stricken main character played by Gena Rowlands. I wanted to express that intensity of the film in this painting, its all really close, intimate and physical.

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