November 25th. Border work

Fusion paintings

painting copyright Bernard Barnes

I have been enjoying adding the slightly symbolic objects into appropriate places, and some gory, charnell house-like images in the lower right border.

A sort of lineal sequence has returned with a start in the top left below the display of ostentatious wealth.

The busy throng is reversed and all the men are marching downwards into the hell of mechanical warfare.

Along the bottom of the painting the concentration of military power discharges in the muzzle of a great cannon, into the inferno and subsequent charnel house, to the right of the painting.

Here, as I said, I have been working today, introducing with a rolling brush and fluid paint, a multitude of figures, human forms, lying in discarded heaps. This early brushing in will be enhanced with highlights when it is dry.

Further up the right side of the picture I have been working of a transition, a sort of revival, in fact a huge population explosion that occurred in spite of the great wars. Ladders appear, huge crowds can be seen ascending, modern transport systems make an appearance, there is a glimpse of high buildings. The procession of people becomes serious, regimental.

On the top line I have enjoyed painting the lips, the wine glass and bottle, the super rich gentleman with the cigar, the block of bank buildings, the piles of money and the mucky factories. So far so good.

I think I may add a Rolls Royce, a street riot or two and have been thinking about putting the Grenfell Tower into the top right, but actually that leaves the remit of the painting, unless we include ‘modern times’.

November 23rd Border Work

Fusion paintings

There are many details to be resolved in the border, but they all throw up interesting problems. I feel this to be the endgame of the work.

Already I’m turning my attention to the next panel, concerned with the Semitic worldview.

Panel 2. Reflections on the 20th Century

Fusion paintings

November 22nd

Work proceeds on integrating the border design with the picture.

My device here is one of my favourites, that of creating the illusion of lower levels by using shading. Signwriters use it behind letters to make them ‘standout’.

It allows me to introduce another level of meaning to the overall painted surface, as if there isn’t enough already. Now there is beginning to be the suggestion of infinity, using the mathematical symbol, in the side leaning figure of eight. A suggestion that includes within it the sense of continual return, as in the ambiguous word  ‘revolution’.