I wanted to paint a triptych portrait that would further my quest for greater presence of the subject. To do that I looked at Fiona’s head from different points of view so that multiple angles and perspectives are explored. I arranged the sizes so that they became more of a single piece and carried the eye over from one into the other and back again. I used a direct view of the eye to establish a sense of strong contact, of mutual examination.
There is something slightly disturbing about the result, the sense of contact and examination is so strong that you feel as examined by the picture as you are examining it. To that end I find it to be reasonably successful. Fiona does have an intensity about her and she enjoys the picture and I think sees it as reflecting that part of her.
While the mark making and brush work is not as ‘painterly’ as in some of my other more recent work, it does stand on its own feet and is clear. On close up examination it just about passes my test of being abstractly interesting in close up scale, all over the canvas. I am left slightly unsure in my own mind of the trade off between the more painterly approach and the more tailored one. Maybe there is some point that can accommodate and take the best from both? Something to think about.