“Newspaper” and “Dinner is Over” (Early 1980s paintings)

oil paint on board, one painting was sold and the other provided as a gift to a friend

While I was going through some old photographs I came across these two pictures of early paintings I had made. They were painted as experiments because I was considering becoming a realistic artist.

I selected some small daily scenes that I saw around my own home for the subject. The subject was actually my husband but he is not shown directly in the paintings. In fact, the things that he often used are the focus.

The painting with the newspaper represented some of the everyday items that he used, these are my husband’s cigarette, and the ash tray with the newspaper. Some smoke is coming from the  cigarette, signifying that the process of smoking is part of his ritual. This was also the first time when I painted smoke. I often use smoke or haze as a little white highlight, it is a small pointer to the subject in the darkness. The whole painting was a lesson for me as it allowed me to experiment with all sorts of different techniques to bring in reality. This painting was sold in the first exhibition.

The other painting is a still life with a bottle of wine, signifying that dinner is over and things are in the process of being put away. Again, this painting has the same purpose as the previous one. That is, to paint a realistic picture that tells a story about the people who are not in the picture, in this case my husband and me. This painting was gifted to a friend who often joined us for dinner.

It was very difficult to paint these pictures. I had no proper space in which to paint and had to use a small ramshackle dark shed with only minimal natural light! However, where there is a will there is a way and I managed to achieve my goals.