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'Instead'

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

16.06.2019: Today I start with a new painting, a portrait of the jazz musician Madeleine Peyroux after one of her album covers. After the almost photographic last portrait, I want to change a few things in this one. First of all, instead of raw canvas, this time I choose jute in the format 100x100 cm. The jute fabric is even rougher than the raw canvas. I prime the jute again with black gesso and already notice that the surface absorbs much more paint. After the first layer has dried, I wet the ground thoroughly with water again and lay the first elements of the background over it with a broad brush. Without letting this layer dry out completely, I continue with the dress in turquoise and the skin parts in light orange. For all these layers I need plenty of paint, which I mix with wood ash again.



21.06.2019: After the first broad-tracked outlines last weekend, I have completely lost my orientation and I first have to refresh the fixed points of the motif. Now I start on the skin areas and I also trace the contours in this bright orange. Now I find my way around again and I continue with a second layer of the background and then a darker blue for the dress. Finally today I also define the hairstyle and the facial features in dark purple.

06/07.07.2019: On Saturday I only had one hour to finally continue working on the painting I had started. I wetted the whole canvas thoroughly and applied another layer of paint in light green on the dress. Now the dress is light green. In the end, however, I only want the light green as an iridescent background. Later I will change the colour of the dress again with blue paint.



A strong thunderstorm came down tonight and I couldn't sleep afterwards. So today I was already at work in the studio at 6 a.m. and continued to work on the fabric of the dress, mainly with light yellow and gold tones, and then worked on the skin parts of the figure with purple and ochre tones. In between, I added smaller details to the background from time to time. There is not enough for more today.

12.07.2019: In my mind I am already two paintings ahead but today I want to finish this one first. I'm still struggling with the damask fabric of the dress and the shine that I could imagine so clearly doesn't want to appear in the painting. I'm still trying to get the skin more differentiated and to bring out the arms, legs and feet more vividly. Once again, the eyes are a challenge. Now, when I decide to call it a day, I realise that the white of the eyes is too bright. But I will certainly have to make other corrections once I have slept over it.



14./15.07.2019: Yesterday and today I tried to make some more precise adjustments and corrections to the painting, mainly to the skin parts, the fabric of the dress and the eyes. Now I am closing the painting with quiet disappointment: I had intended to take a clear step towards more abstraction and instead another rather well-behaved painting has emerged. At some point I didn't manage to turn the wheel and detach myself more from the original. Maybe it's the motif - I'm not giving up yet...


The only positive and new thing about this painting is that jute is suitable as a background for large-format paintings and supports a lively colour structure.

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