Process of a painting: "Cockaigne"

Flashback to my Cockaigne painting which was made for the inaugural Qld Figurative Award at the RQAS in 2014.

The theme motivating the imagery was the ancient myth of Cockaigne. An inspiration was the important painting titled the "Land of Cockaigne" by Pieter Bruegel, in Munich. His influential picture is one of my earliest art memories and has come back to my mind constantly throughout the years. 

My painting is a soft interpretation of the themes in Cockagine and it was designed to be evocative and not explicit. 

At the time I was looking a lot at the Berlin artist Ruprecht von Kaufmann, especially his works from 2008-10. Ruprecht was later to help me a lot and support my work as a mentor.

This post gives a sense of the process used for most pictures which I create.

 Left: Some very early ideas / Right: A later composition which established some important connections through the image

Left: Some very early ideas / Right: A later composition which established some important connections through the image

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 A good friend modelling in my Brisbane studio

A good friend modelling in my Brisbane studio

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 Initial small sketchbook ideas from imagination for the floating figures. The two on the left were used as final reference for the small figures at the top right of the painting

Initial small sketchbook ideas from imagination for the floating figures. The two on the left were used as final reference for the small figures at the top right of the painting

 Studies from life model for the floating figure- giving myself options to choose from later on

Studies from life model for the floating figure- giving myself options to choose from later on

 I was continuously moving elements around in such studies until they sat together well and felt right

I was continuously moving elements around in such studies until they sat together well and felt right

 Bonus little Ivor Hele copy in the top right corner

Bonus little Ivor Hele copy in the top right corner

 In a still image, the subtle differences between attitudes of a figure mean a lot

In a still image, the subtle differences between attitudes of a figure mean a lot

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 Quick colour studies, swapping elements and relationships

Quick colour studies, swapping elements and relationships

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 Left: Ground plane.  Right: Hands and head

Left: Ground plane.  Right: Hands and head

 Building up the final painting: From a thin washy block-in / to a drawing phase / then creating refined, opaque colour masses/ and finally modelling complex forms

Building up the final painting: From a thin washy block-in / to a drawing phase / then creating refined, opaque colour masses/ and finally modelling complex forms

 The finished painting

The finished painting