I dont paint my kids or my interiors, but I do paint my experiences and emotional interior.
My new works are a bit dark( ok, they are very dark) , all traffic cones and flashing lights, dark landscape , ominous horizons. This is because I am teaching my oldest son to drive. He is 16 (legal age to learn in NZ) , he is a cautiously good driver BUT , as with all learning, there are a few hairy moments every now and again. I defy anyone to tell me they were otherwise when they were learning. I know I ran over a kerb or three and definitely took corners wide, freaked out on highways and made mistakes.
It's all good to teach a kid in daylight, saturday afternoon when all is quiet, but that does not help him learn what it's like to drive at night, when EVERYTHING looks different and lights reflect and refract all around. So, I teach hime to drive at night too. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Jesus, it's a bit scary sometimes but I try remain calm. So does he. Chevrons, traffic cones, reflective strips, cyclists, rain, fog , streetlamp, oncoming cars......it's like a circus through the windscreen. And it all feeds into my brain and my work.
I was looking at the works of Caspar David Friedrich recently. Bear with me. He is rather famous for what we would now see as a rather sentimental or kitsch image (depending on how hard your heart is). This one is probably the best known, titled "Wanderer above the sea of fog" Painted in 1818,
And he painted
this too,Seashore by Moonlight.
Critics suggested that he was trying to paint what was best described by poetry. He was part of the Romantic movement that included poets, writers and musicians and emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature.
You can see where I am going with this......
So, a landscape painter in a car, being driven at night by an earnest yet novice driver , encountering all sorts of challenges is BOUND to conjure up some images that good old Caspar could identify with.
This painting is titled
A Sudden intake of breath