Friday, March 30, 2012

The Story Behind 40 works that changed my career 3

Number 3- Pensive II

I wanted a painting that would remind me of the pensive nights that I used have while organizing pool competitions for residents of St Mungo's (A charity that hoses homeless people) at Cedars Road in Clapham London. This particular hostel has just been shut down, this week after years of running, which makes me cherish this piece, even more. These pool competitions were a means of engaging and also motivating the residents into being active, competitive and also a good means of socializing with others. It was during these competition nights on Mondays that I learned how to play pool. I sometimes took part myself but my main role was to organise the competitions. There were prizes at stake and and a trophy too. These prizes meant a lot to the residents and especially for the participants. You could hardly hear a pin drop while these games were being played.

Pensive II, Oil on Canvas, 120 x 80cm, 2008

So that's a bit of the background behind this painting. I normally took loads of snap shots while the games were being played and I was always looking for a good composition that would involve the referee and two players. Out of so many hundreds of pictures, I chose this one and animated the way I painted the figures so that I could make the pensive, tense feeling in the atmosphere, show through in the finished piece. It was an awkward colour scheme, I tried to follow the actual colours in the venue but they didn't really work in harmony for a painting but after much thought, I decided to stick with it and keep it that way because I feared that altering might make me loose some of the effects I had at the beginning. I still have this in my studio and I always look back at it with great pleasure of one of the first successful figurative paintings I did on a large scale canvas.

"Great painters are admired by their "look", their brushstokes, their technique. The viewer admirers not only the "look" of the paintings, but also subconsciously, what is behind the paintings-the painter, the lifestyle, the successes, etc. We buy the whole package."- David Leffel


Greybrush, [Steve Dominey] said...

You mention that the colour scheme seemed awkward but I think it works well for your purpose. The complementary clash of the red and green makes the eye go back and forth from the players in the room to the table as if the viewer is also studying the shot. I think it heightens the tension. In a competitive game you don't necessarily want an harmonious mood. The colour scheme works.

adebanji said...

Thanks for the positive critique. I never thought of it that way. It's one of the reasons why sharing these things can be helpful.

Greybrush, [Steve Dominey] said...

Sure, I'm saying it works well as a painting, but I'm not saying strong vibrations like that go well with your furniture! LOL!

BTW I cycle your paintings on my desktop for inspiration. Hope that's okay.

adebanji said...

I know what you mean! That would be a clash!
That's fine I do the same with artists work that inspire me, my wife thinks, "how comes you always look at ALL these paintings?" -I simply tell her it's for inspiration!

Jo Castillo said...

I love this and the colors, too. I think that if you love a painting it goes with anything. I know people buy paintings to go with their couch but we have always had an eclectic collection and they always fit together nicely. Would you want all the paintings in a museum to match?? Great job on this, it has a lot of movement and excitement.

adebanji said...

Thanks Jo! Well said, I wouldn't want all to match, and the movement and excitement I think really compensates for what it lacks it other areas or should I say the mood.

David Larson Evans said...

Excellent work.

adebanji said...

Thanks David!