Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Some old stuff

I was scratching around in my cupboard over the weekend and found some of my earliest paintings.

The first one I must have painted at around 15 years old – I was given a set of oil paints as a present plus a book on how to paint landscapes.
As paintings go it’s not that great, but I am pleased I kept it as a record of my very first attempt.
I did a second one that was better, but it’s gone missing.

There were some others too but they are long gone.

Then I found these two, I think I did them around age 16/17 – I know because I signed and dated the horses as 1983.

I never did get around to completing the zebras – that’s always a problem for me – finishing what I start. Silly really, only had a few black stripes to add in.

I did all three paintings from imagination, before I went to university and learned that it is much better to always use a reference (like a photo or the real thing) when creating art.

They are also pretty small, the horses and zebras are about A4 in size, the landscape is just slightly bigger than a credit card, or about the same size as my cell phone.

I also found this one, pretty romantic teenage girl stuff, I remember it was also done the same year I fancied a boy in my class at school, who was tall, blonde and oh so handsome.

I remember he asked me to draw him a picture once, so that day I came home from school and spent an entire afternoon drawing the same pair of fighting horses over and over, I wanted to get it just right so that he would be ever so impressed and fall in love with me right then.
Well, I gave him the horses but the lurve thing didn’t happen. I can still remember that drawing clearly and how I agonized over it, wonder if he still has it?
This one I think was inspired by a coaster with Camargue horses on it, I managed to find a relevant poem to go with it in a time when there was no internet.
For those who don’t know, there is a wetlands region in France where these special horses live, they are an ancient breed.

So I have been wondering – would it be kosher for me in my old age to finish the zebras now? It’s so tempting to add the missing stripes, but it feels as though the painting would have been done by two different people – the young me and the old me.
Also, I would never be able to look at it and see it as one of my earliest works anymore, as though adding a bit now would destroy what it is.

Maybe I should have a poll on this - do you think I should finish the zebras?


  1. Hmmmm..we'll I'd say no - keep them as they are !

  2. Am with Andrew on ths one, keep them as they are ...

  3. Nah ... leave as they are. You were good ..

  4. Awesome stuff, the first two look like they belong in the pages of a Thomas Hardy classic. Your talent is very apparent Karen

  5. karet? how did that happen :-) oh and i voted to finish the zebra's else they'll be seriously confused, and so will the lions be who prey on them.