1846 10-5-99 was not the date that painting was finished ; it was probably two weeks later from memory.
This was a painting I did back in school in 1999. At the time I was wondering where I was going to go in life. I loved art, music and computers but was worried about how I was going to go in the HSC and always pressured to do my best.
The man in this painting (yes, yes a representation of me) ponders life and what’s ahead of him, how the choices he’s made in his life up to know will influence the consequences of his future. The vices he has are starting to wreak havoc on his body i.e. the cigarette and the tar coloured arm. On the wall is a family picture with the two children being in between the spaces of the parents to appear like a happy family though the children know that the parents stopped communicating a long time ago. When my parents separated in 2001 my sister and I were not surprised at all and felt relieved it happened.
I enjoyed putting this painting together. I first started with a regular canvas and painted it in black gesso. The next gesso was applied by smashing the brush into the canvas to create texture in the artwork (note the cracked lines on the wall near the man’s head). I remember painting the wall purple but not all of it so you can see some of the gesso left behind. I painted the floor in burgundy acrylic however didn’t like it so started playing with oil and palette knives to create more textures in the artwork. I remember when painting the lamp i only placed a little bit of black at the edge then realised that way too much was actually used.
Sometimes I still feel like that man in the painting wondering what will happen next on the horizon. However what I need to remember is not what I can or can’t control about the future; it is how fast can I adapt to it and improve the current situation I’m in – whatever it is.
I now have a loving wife and a happy son and I can certainly assure Craig from 1999 the issues that were facing him back then weren’t even worth worrying about. Everything sorts itself out one way or another in the end.