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The Guitar Players

I thought it might be nice to introduce a new page to my website, which will feature a particular painting that I think is important to the development of the art I produce today. Over the next few months I'll feature more.

I've probably painted thousands of paintings and they are all special in a way, but some of them stand out as landmark paintings.

The Guitar Players is one of them.

I painted it just before I started the Facets project. You can see the inclusion of abstract forms within the figurative parts starting to emerge.

There is obviously a sense of optical illusion too.

All these elements would be taken forward to produce the later canvases in Facets.

It's a stand-alone painting, in that, I painted it as a one-off. There is another painting called Cello which was painted around about he same time, but is quite different which I'll feature next, but for now, I'll concentrate on telling you about The Guitar Players.

This is the first time I've shown this painting for the public gaze. Like most of my recent work, it was done in 'splendid isolation'. I've yet to have an exhibition of all the work on this site, and I'm open to offers.

I love Picasso's work and I think there's a gentle nod to the guitar player pictures of his Blue Period.

The guitar in the painting is my old Yamaha acoustic. I stopped playing years ago. The action on this particular guitar is too high and it hurts your fingers. Today, I just compose music on Garage Band and Logic Express on my Mac computer. It's not as painful, (except for people around me who have to listen to it !)

The painting is oil on canvas. 36ins x 20ins / 91cm x 51cm . Looking at it now, I can see that my eye is drawn o the white circle, which looks like the Moon, or is it an opening ? The eye looks past the women to the horizon. The black holes in the guitars, together with the white circle seem to form a triangle.

It's funny when you look back at a painting. You seem to notice things more. Whilst you're painting it, you are so focused on the actual painting experience, that you don't realise the undercurrents of subconscious thought that's underpinning it. Saying that though, the finished painting is pretty close to the preliminary sketches that are shown below. I've just started going through my sketchbooks and photographing key sketches and colour roughs. It's time consuming, but, interesting, and I'm discovering things I'd forgotten I'd done.

These days, I tend to do more life drawing. If I find any more interesting references that relate to The Guitar Players, then I'll add them to this page for you to see. I love looking at artist's sketchbooks. I've got a wonderful book Je suis le cahier / TheSketchbooks of Picasso published by Thames and Hudson. It shows reproductions of some of the complete sketchbooks by Picasso. As you know I'm also a great fan of Henry Moore. There's a terrific book called The Drawings of Henry Moore by Andrew Causey, published by Lund Humphries. If you like to draw or looking at artist's drawings, then these books are perfect.

Anyway, I hope you liked The Guitar Players.

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