There is a certain attraction in finding out that a painting isn’t necessarily everything you thought it was…yes paintings can have hidden messages or messages that can be interpreted to mean different things by different people. But, to actually find another image beneath the surface of an existing painting is another matter altogether.
An example of this can be seen back in June this year when scientists and art experts verified that there is a hidden painting beneath one of Pablo Picasso’s first masterpieces, ‘The Blue Room’. Using advances in infrared imagery they revealed a bow-tied man with his face resting on this hand. Now the question is…who is he? A technical analysis confirmed the hidden portrait was a work Picasso had probably painted just before The Blue Room. They had long suspected that something was hidden beneath as the brushstrokes in the piece do not match the composition.
Curators suspect that when Picasso had an idea he literally had to realise it immediately and that this meant he grabbed an already finished art work and painted over it! Apparently, he also couldn’t afford to keep acquiring new canvasses every time he had a new idea and would even work on cardboard as canvas was so expensive to buy. Hidden pictures have also been found under other important Picasso paintings. A technical analysis of La Vie at Cleveland Museum of Art revealed Picasso significantly reworked the painting’s composition. Conservators also found a portrait of a moustached man beneath Picasso’s painting ‘Woman Ironing’ at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.
I can relate to his approach as during the progression of my artwork for the ‘Passion’ Exhibition I had an instantaneous drive to paint from a totally black canvas, hence producing a very different effect tonally and emotionally. I knew I wanted the piece to be on a square canvas as the dimensions and balance of the figures in the piece required this equilibrium where they would be held within a framework, cosseted in a cave like darkness. The only canvas I had available at that moment with those dimensions was one I had already started to work on months ago. So, I took the plunge, loaded my brush with black paint and obscured the image behind…to then go on to create ‘The Surrender’.
‘The Surrender’ was always going to have a special meaning as it is symbolic of a turning point in the Exhibition - where we are lead from the ‘Seduction Phase’ into the ‘Cruscendo Phase’. Ironically, the painting has been made further more poignant because of the image now beneath it… ‘The Surrender’ represents the moment when she allows herself to let go of fear, to relinquish herself to him and trust in him. This, as we know is the tipping point in a relationship where true intimacy can really grow and flourish.
The obscured image behind ‘The Surrender’ is the image of an Angel and when I painted over it, I wondered…maybe this was the purpose of this image from months ago – it had been waiting to be used in a suitable composition, to protect her from falling…
My working ethos is 'Play & Revelation' where I continually explore new ways of working, sometimes even destroying works to transform into new!
From February 2019 Sonya will be selling her collections at 'Leaf Creative' in Huntley, owned by Peter Dowle. This beautiful garden centre specialises in unusual shrubs, acer trees and hand selected plants. The perfect place to showcase her leaf inspired ceramics!
Sonya is pleased to announce that having been a provisional member with the Cotswold Craftsmen during 2018, she has now been accepted as a permanent member and invited to be publicity officer on the committee. Sonya will be exhibiting her work at a number of County Shows in 2019 - watch her events page for more upcoming details.
Sonya is now offering 1 day 'Pottery Workshops' with a national craft course provider. Start 2019 learning something new! In 1 day attentive tuition with Sonya you will learn throwing, coiling and hand-building techniques.
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