Monkey Business, 1997

76.2cm X 121.92cm oil painting, sold

I have had plenty of  opportunity to observe one of my favourite subjects, monkeys. In the case of this painting they were Langurs, a fantastic handsome Indian monkey breed. This type of monkey also features in many Indian mythological stories.

Langurs are incredible acrobats; they fly through the air and  jump enormous distances between trees. They use their long and strong tails as rudders. Sometimes they even use their tails as a weapon as they fly through the air from branch to branch or tree to tree.

In this painting each monkey is sedentary and  has a serious expression as if  participating in a boring company meeting.I have played with perspective in this painting. Whereas the view of the largest monkey is from ground level, the others towards the top of the tree are gradually smaller. This emphasises the height and distance between the different figures.

The eyes of the monkeys are  all different.  Their various thoughts distract them with their eyes telling their stories.The largest monkey at ground level is very suspicious and uncomfortable because he is in a place he does not like, the ground.

The monkeys’ fur is painted using minute thin brushstrokes to emphasise a softness around the faces. The colours in the background are muted, increasing the viewer’s focus onto the black monkey faces.

She’s a Leopard Too: Tapestry

My mother, who is a tapestry weaver, really liked this painting. She made a beautiful tapestry based on it that is just the same size as the original. It is included here.