GILDING THE LILY ~ Redefining a moment in time February 16 2017 14 Comments
However, it wasn’t long before a gallery in California discovered my Art Deco influenced paintings, and our collaboration strengthened over the next twelve months. As my work began selling, it became apparent it was important that I relocate to the Golden State.
One painting in particular stands out from that time.
I’d had the vision to create this painting since Paris. And when the moment of inspiration struck I simply had to act. On that particular day, I had enough money to buy the stretcher bars, but not enough for the canvas on which to paint.
Like many artists before me, I had to improvise. Some, when compelled by the bolt-strike-urgency of inspiration have used cardboard, wooden boxes, or even the very walls of their abode. In my case, a scrap of black cotton fabric was sourced, and sitting at the easel I breathed life into one of my most admired pieces: Cubist Lilies.
CUBIST LILIES ~ the original 2002
Across the 14 years since it was painted, the infamous black cotton has proved an unstable surface for the oils, and the painting, rolled up and relocated across oceans, cities and time zones has cracked and is damaged beyond repair.
GILDING THE LILY is now complete. The new work is a rich reworking of the original. The lily - a classic Art Deco motif - is revived and refined. A clarified palette offers a new depth, and sensuality to the piece. The composition is more succinct, with greater definition in the detail and complex tonal graduation. The lilies are rejuvenated and more finely rendered, with warmer tones, luscious deep greens in the leaves, delicate silvers and luminous yellow in the sensuous blooms. This affords the piece all the elegance of the Art Deco era, with smooth surfaces and sleek lines, it exudes the balance, opulence and grace of this timeless age.
This confident reworking of my original composition pays homage to a time in history that has greatly inspired me throughout my career. It reflects the reverence I hold for this era, and my evolution as an artist.