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David Bowie. Iconic Inspiration

August 7, 2017

All I really knew was that I wanted to paint something "other worldly"

 

Many fans, including myself were deeply affected when we lost, the now legendary, David Bowie back in early January 2016 

 

I remember feeling compelled to express something about this hero of mine. Not only because he was such a big part of my life but because of the numerous reinventions that he made of himself and his music over many decades. I wanted to respond in a similar way.... to follow Bowie's lead. To be free from any method or technique that I had used to paint in the past.

 

Easier said than done of course!

 

After watching a documentary about Bowie and listening to his music at every chance, I realised that making a start on this painting was not going to be easy. I had accumulated masses of reference materiel to work from but choosing a single image was almost impossible. So I decided to work from it all, including memory and responding to the music. All I really knew was that I wanted to paint something "other worldly" and that it should be big...  a full head portrait, face-on. 

 

I remember saying to myself "Be free... Don't worry... Go for it" and so the journey began....

 

I probably worked for a solid week enjoying this new freedom that I was experiencing.

 But the week after was one of head scratching, fumbling around and disappointment. This does happen to me quite a lot, I suppose I was expecting it somewhere in the background of my mind but I thought I had found something different this time. Anyway I carried on, soon realising that I was not happy with the result. I tinkered with the surface of the canvas in between other paintings that I had started but eventually gave up and put the painting to one side. I was beaten, again! 

 

It wasn't until January 2017 that I had another go at the painting. I had not been in my studio over much of the winter so I was feeling nervously optimistic and eager to start something new. The Bowie portrait stared at me from the group of abandoned paintings. I had worked too hard to let this one go.

 

So, David Bowie went back on "the painting wall" (I don't use easels that much anymore) Another few weeks went by with a new, fresh determination and energy. Many layers of paint were applied, my mark making seemed to be working and it felt good adding a brighter palette of paint. The title came to me too during this period "Star Man" I think it really helped the painting become "other worldly'' well to me at least.  It was finished.

 

Limited edition prints are now available to buy direct from the website -STAR MAN

 

 

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