Saturday, 24 April 2010

Number 1

Number 1

This painting was one of my very happy accidents. Not happy because I think it is a marvellous painting, because I do not but because of how it happened and where it ended.

I was painting one day in one of my frenzy modes. It was one of those days when my head was buzzing with all sorts of thoughts, not all about painting. Maybe if all I had been thinking about was the painting all might have gone well but that is another story. The painting ended up a disaster as so many of mine do. In my foolish thinking and frenzied thought I grabbed some white paint to paint it out. I had not as yet put on so much paint it would not cover over. It soon became obvious it was not going to happen. I thought I would leave the mess to dry then return with the white.

As I stepped back I saw an image, very faint but it was there. Could I coax it out? So again with a frenzy of paint and fingers there he was. I splattered some paint just to give a small hint of colour and left him to dry. “You are not going to hang that anywhere are you?” asked my wife. “Yes I am,” I said I want to see what others think. “I can tell you now if you want,” she said.

Anyway I hung it in one of my places. The very next day I got a phone call, it was sold. I have since met the young couple who bought it. They said they were determined to have one of my paintings but this was the first one they had agreed on. It hangs in there home and is often a point of discussion they tell me.

The only worrying thing for me is they call it not, “Number 1” but “Ralph”

This blog is linked to my other blog where this artwork is used:- Know Yourself


  1. A good self portrait .... although somewhat awe inspiring. Maybe even formidable.
    It's excellent....there is nothing else to say!

  2. I couldn't wait to see the story behind this painting today, Ralph. Makes me laugh that they call this painting 'Ralph' though. I love how you brought this face out. I find it rather eerie and haunting and yet I love it. Reminds me of the drama mask a bit, and also when you see those special effects of a face coming out of a wall, or the back of a t-shirt (as one of our current commercials show on tv), or those toys where you can press your face into it and the relief comes out the other side. Just a fabulous piece and I love your wife's reaction too (though I don't agree at all)! LOLOL

  3. Ralph bonjour!
    Je prends du plaisir aujourd'hui à lire l'histoire cachée derrière cette toile et son bon dénouement.
    Dans la vie rien n'est nul ou inutile. Très souvent ce que nous ne trouvons pas bon l'est en réalité.
    Je pense qu'une pensée positive régnait autour de votre toile.
    Je vous en souhaite beaucoup d'autres...
    Toutes mes amitiés.

  4. Hi, Ralph! This is a striking piece. I enjoyed reading the story behind it. Your wife is a funny lady!

    I scrolled through your other work and saw several pieces I really like - especially one of a fishing village.

  5. What an interesting painting! It has a haunting element to it, the face trying to break out of the background. Funny, your wife's reaction to it, and your buyers naming it Ralph. Striking!

  6. I love painting like this where a person appears to have invited themselves in. I often do frenzied irratic paintings that seem without form until the visitor arrives. I just say thank you: I accept you. Add a few marks to bring the face to life and enjoy the result.