Face No.5: Vulnerable

Since closing down Better, I have finally found time to go back to my Faces series. To see the start of the series, click here for Face 1, Face 2, Face 3 and Face 4. This series explores men’s faces using colour to sculpt the contours and reflect emotion.

vulnerable2 (2)

This painting turned out looking vulnerable, some combination perhaps of the exaggeratedly large eyes, the relaxed mouth or the neutral expression. The young man is quietly self-possessed, but open; not defensive.

This painting combines my favourite colours – yellow, pink and gold (not so visible in the photo) – grounded with sienna shades.

Face No.5: Vulnerable is painted in acrylic paint on a 50cm x 50cm stretched canvas and finished in gloss acrylic canvas. It is not framed.

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New year, new energy

I have started this year with reorganising my studio. It’s a major revamp – with new shelves and new pinning boards along one wall. I’m also taking the opportunity to sort and clear out all my stacks of old pictures, doodles, sketched ideas and junk.

As a result the studio is a bit messy right now. Any art I make is squeezed between piles of stuff waiting to be moved or sorted. So it’s mostly small stuff. This 25cm x 25cm canvas was just able to fit in the space I cleared last week.

I’ve been thinking about energy a lot, what with trying to recover from an exhausting 2017 and paying close attention to what energises me and what depletes me.

Fabric of Life 1

Somehow energy is represented in my brain as these round bubbles with different textures. Some are spiky and bright, others swirling and sparkly. This “fabric of life” painting shows some of these energy representations, against a background of woven fabric.

Fabric of Life 2

Fabric of Life is painted in acrylics on a gallery wrapped canvas. The painting goes around the sides of the canvas as shown above. It is finished with gloss acrylic varnish.

 

 

 

Mandala No.8: Love

Love
Mandala No.8: Love by Judy Backhouse (copyright)

Finally, here is Love. A mandala that I have been lavishing loving attention on for some time now.

Love is represented by the traditional heart shape, but these hearts have swelled up like ripe fruit. Love is fruitful. Love underlies all creative endeavours. Creativity is driven by love, as is so nicely captured in this quote:

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” Osho

At the heart of the picture, inside the central square, is one of these heart-fruits, surrounded by rays of gold. This square has a white background, emphasising the golden rays. Love has this quality of warmth. From wherever it originates, it spreads out and impacts on everything in its path. To be surrounded by loving people always has a positive impact, if you are in the way of that love.

Instead of the traditional four doors or gates, there are four fat, ripe, heart-fruit on a background of textured green. The fruit are connected by a vine. They grow together. Beyond the circle of green the rays of gold continue, on a muted pale ochre background. The warmth of the golden rays is still there, but you will feel it less the further you are from the source.

Love is painted in acrylics on a 50cm x 50cm gallery-wrapped canvas and finished with a matt acrylic varnish. The rays of gold continue around the edge of the painting as shown.

Love detail 02

Mandala No.3: Impact

Impact Mandala
Mandala No.3: Impact by Judy Backhouse (copyright)

Mandala No.3: Impact is a departure from the more formal structure and detailed rendering of Peace and Happy. This mandala emerged without any planning. I had this canvas sitting around that I had painted in this rich red and then left for a few months. I started out playing with the green and gold diamonds that seemed to complement the red so well. Then it just grew from there.

The idea of Impact emerged with the picture. The angularity of the shapes and the outward movement that continues into splashes of colour around the central star suggested to me the aftermath of a meteor hitting the earth. The rich and bright colours, create an exciting visual impact.

ImpactDetail1Small

Impact was painted entirely with a palette knife, layering the paint on fairly thickly as can be seen in these detailed images. I worked quickly and enjoyed the freedom of the looser style. Painting this was fun! ImpactDetail2Small

Impact is painted on a 50cm x 50cm gallery wrapped canvas and the red background continues around the edge of the canvas. It is finished with a high gloss acrylic varnish.

Impact wrapping