Breaking up the idea of a face by turning it upside down can force you into seeing it as a more abstract form. It’s a fantastic painting exercise to stop you subconsciously making all the same moves with the paint. The faces you paint are most often the familiar ones, and they creep back time and time again.
This was a quick repaint done upside down on an old sketch that was lying around in a pile of paper waiting to be sorted. Some people keep everything, and although I admit to hoarder tendencies, the realities of available space mean that 6 months or so I have a major clean. And although you can view it both ways – It reads better in the direction it was last painted. 80s Queensland television had its fair share of Mr Squiggle and his cries of ‘upside down miss jane’. The way he created his fantastic drawing in reverse out of what seemed like nothing always fascinated me. And then there is that rather famous German painter, Georg Baselitz who painted huge canvases of inverted people in the 60/70s.
I begin with an idea, but as I work, the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea I preconceived… and the picture that fights for its own life.