I love the day-dreaming gaze children can enjoy, just staring off into out of space. Only they know where their imagination is taking them to in that particular instance. It was this notion, which inspired me to paint this painting. My brother was a day-dreamer and he always got into trouble for it at school; I believe children should be allowed to day-dream. Who knows, they might just be conjuring up the next solution to climate change. It seems like an ingrained, intuitive form of meditation.
This painting is part of a series called ‘Duality’, where I explore the two sides of the coin, so to speak. This particular oil painting went through quite a few transformations. It started off, like so many, as a textured ‘noise’ painting my partner started. He’s like the chaos and I’m the calm when it comes to paintings and life in general really. I wanted to explore and practice painting the colour of human skin, taking images I found from an old 1970’s photography book. The fun challenge was translating these black and white reference images into coloured interpretations with oil paints. The boy on the left of the painting was a study of pure light. I painted just the lightness of the boy on top of the dark ‘noise’ background and then scraped away the wet paint, revealing the darks and shadows. With the second version of the boy I experimented using green as a base colour and then adding red hues and building the painting up dark to light, so the opposite method, thus creating more depth. As he was gazing off to the right, I felt like adding a beautiful, slightly surreal scene there and found this incredible picture in another photography book, which I felt impelled to add to the composition. I chose to experiment painting it in the style of the great impressionists, who inspire me greatly.