I propose to do 5 paintings using acrylics. At least A1 size, if not larger. The subject will be the link between them all and it will be a goat skull found locally (Jimena de la Frontera, Andalucia).
I have long had an interest in skulls and bones and it seems fortuitous that this skull has just been handed to me just as I was considering my options for this assignment. I do not find these things macabre, I think they are good reminders of the inevitability of our own deaths and the birth-death recycle. I hope to express this in some way through my work. I feel that awareness of our own mortality forces us to live in the present moment and that life is more precious for being ephemeral. (I also explored this subject in my final assignment for drawing 1.)
I would like to choose to represent all the genres to fully challenge the range of my painting skills and to show the many different ways this skull could be described.
The ideas below are not set in stone; for example I will not know what to put into the still life until I start to lay it all out and sketch my options. I will consider how to approach the abstract when I have experimented in the exercises at the beginning of part 5.
- Still life ‘The things they leave behind’ . Set up a still life with the skull plus possibly some feathers, snail shells, a snake skin, antler – anything that has been part of a living creature but is now discarded, unwanted and left behind. Maybe lit with a strong light one side to get some good contrasting tones.
- Self portrait . ‘The death of Pan’. I will draw on my selfies work for this and aim to produce a self portrait, probably in profile, and holding or facing the skull. In Greek mythology Pan is the only god to die and is usually shown with goat horns, goatee beard and cloven hooves. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_(god) I could play on the Greek mythology or pagan beliefs for this when I set this up, with my choice of clothing, jewellery, background etc.
- Landscape. ‘Mountain sun rise with goat skull’. I plan to paint the view from our terrace of the mountains en plein aire, just as the sun is rising. I hope to emulate Tuner’s use of light and also some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work, with the skull either on a wall or a pole. source: https://www.georgiaokeeffe.net/deer-skull-with-pedernal.jsp . The mountain would be more prominent than in this painting.
- Surrealist. ‘Full circle’. There are plenty of goat herds around where I live so I hope to get out there and make some sketches to work from. I plan to use the skull as a big rock and show the goats playing on or around it.
- Abstract. I will have more of an idea on this after I have tried a few abstract ideas/experimenting by adding to acrylics, at the beginning of part 5, but I will look for patterns within the skull to repeat.
I have already started to draw and study this skull.