Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Ghost Mirror

A days painting - and there are still little touches to do, thin lines etcetera which will have to wait for the paint to dry again.

But it is very close to done and once again not quite what I wanted. Why not will niggle and niggle at me until I find an answer - probably in a future painting. Guess that's what keeps us going - if I could paint the perfect painting, would I stop?

Before I went I knew I'd be tacking photographs for reference, but did not expect Enki Bilal's The Ghosts of the Louvre exhibition.

The Louvre's ghosts seem particularly near to me, too. Odd, when I live in building that is over a hundred years old. But something about the building as well as the objects now on display brings to mind all those past lives. D'Artagnan, Napoleon, royalty, revolutionaries and artists (amongst others) have all walked these same stairs and maybe paused to look in this mirror. Even film makers have been here, with Goddard setting his threesome runnning through the place in Bande a Part. We could spend all day summarising the works of fiction set at least partially in the place. The list of famous people that have visited is even longer . . .

Some of the ghosts are of the makers rather than visitors - Leonardo coming to die, bringing with him what would become the most famous of all paintings. Rubens painting incredibly skillful and rather boring wallpaper for Marie de Medici. Gericault's frustration at the (initial) rejection of the Raft of the Medusa, echoed later with the Impressionists and Manet's Olympia. Degas drawing Mary Cassatt looking at the works. For some reason I feel the friendly presence of all the creators here more than in other gallery I've been in - maybe partly because I know that most of them would also have stood and admired other's work in much the same place and manner as I do.

And then there is the ghost of me. When I was thirteen and first visited the place, probably as bored as the teenagers lurking around the Nike are today. Sixteen, appreciating both the art and the foreign totty. A big jump to mid twenties and just beginning to awaken again to art making. A couple of years ago, just having started using oils, and eager to see what is possible. Now, when I am more focused in my appreciation and thinking about creating art of my own out of the place.

And so it goes on.


  1. Really interesting post , as usual. I'm enjoying your thought. And I look forward to seeing this painting finished - but as you say, is a painting ever finished?

  2. Thank you, Bridget! I'm not quite sure where I'll end up showing this, but will try and let you know when I do. Glad you are enjoying the posts!