Gill and I are both artists. Difficult to describe the difference between us in our approach to painting, except to say that Gill is entirely intuitive. She picks up her brush and paints. Over the years, she has acquired a few techniques that help her achieve her vision, but essentially Gill paints what is in her, unhindered by how one should do it.
I, on the other hand, am more considered with my artwork, as with most things I do. A painting may be completed in an hour or so, but it will have taken me many hours to work out the what, why and how of the result. Over a lifetime of drawing and painting, I can now see that what I produce has a 'style', a signature, which is intrinsically my own, no matter how I might try something new. I can paint with freedom or restraint, the result is still me.
So in that we are the same; we paint as we are. Gill, the Romantic; myself, the Classicist. It is that to and fro in temperament that Kenneth Clark described so well in his book The Romantic Rebellion. Each artistic season is superceded by its counterpart; except for Gill and myself it is inextricably intertwined in an attraction of opposites which keeps our marriage interesting and together.
I need Gill to keep me dreaming, and Gill needs me to keep her anchored.
|Of course, neither image shows the finished picture, because it isn't yet.|
Only this afternoon, Gill took one look at my latest piece (one with which I have been wrestling for some time now) and declared, "You've wrecked it. It was lovely before, but you insist on putting mud all over your pictures." Or words to that effect. She may have a point, but I felt that everything was too clear and bright before. Too unfinished. I like the texture that the (colourful) mud brings. It brings doubt and mystery into play, a veil of uncertainty, which is echoed by the cataract forming in my eye.
For most of my artistic life, I have tried to make what I see clearer. I doubt if I have succeeded. After many years of trying this way and that way, striving for an ideal, I find that it no longer holds my attention. I like not knowing. Savouring the indistinct; the freedom from a tyranny of exactitude; romance in the cloud.