Springs to the front 眼前一亮

Scotland_edited_edited.jpg

2018

24cms (W) x 30cms (H)

Oil on Panel 油画

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The subject of this painting has 3 passions, reading, cooking and flowers. I didn't manage to include cooking in this painting, unless you accept that the book she is reading is a recipe book....


Anyway, the thing I find interesting about this person is that she behaves often as an introvert (quiet, modest, unassuming), yet on numerous occasions I've seen her performing as a master of ceremonies, or dancing in front of huge crowds. I find this contrast fascinating. I remember doing a recruitment event with her at a university. She was nervous about being on stage, so I reassured her "It'll be fine, just remember that you know what you're doing... blah blah blah"; then on stage she became this showman, who was so much more commanding than I was. It was amazing. Then afterwards she reverted to modesty again, worrying about how she came across.


I find this contrast in a lot of people in China. My theory is that it is a juxtaposition between traditional Confucian societal values of humility and deference, and the confidence that comes with a good education and an increasingly successful country. I still feel that many people I have met seem to lack the confidence that their talent merits (until you give them a microphone).


The books (the more introvert aspect of her character) I put in the background, and I placed her off to the side in the composition - reflecting her unassuming nature. I put the flowers front and centre as a representation of her visible public persona that stands front and centre.


As an aside, this was the first painting I ever tried to do using 'Flemish layering effect' - which is traditional oil painting when you layer up browns, then blacks and whites, then colours. However, i've got a very tight time schedule to complete these pictures and that technique takes weeks of layers to complete. Probably need to experiment with it later or run multiple paintings at once.


这幅画的主人公有3个爱好:阅读,烹饪和鲜花。在这幅里没有体现出烹饪,你可以设想她手里的书是烹饪书。

我觉得这位人物有趣的地方在于,她经常表现得内向(安静,谦虚,谦逊),但有好几次,我看到她做大型现场主持人,在人群面前跳舞。我觉得这种对比很吸引人。我记得有一次校招和她一起,她上台前很紧张,我跟她说:“没关系,记住,你很清楚知道自己在做什么……”然后在宣讲时,她是主持人,比我宣讲表现好得多。很不可思议。之后,她又再次变得谦虚,担心自己会遇到的事情。我在中国很多人中发现了这种对比。我觉得,这是儒家的谦卑和尊重的传统社会价值观与良好教育和日益成功的国家所带来的信心的共同作用。我还发现,遇到的许多人似乎缺乏对自己才能的自信(直到给他们一个展现的机会)。

我将书本(她性格中比较内向的一面)放在背景中,然后将她放在构图的侧面,以反映她谦逊的性格。花放在显眼位置,以代表她性格里凸显的人设。

另外,这是我第一次尝试用“佛兰芒技术”画油画。这是一种传统油画方式,第一层棕褐色层,然后黑色层,白色层,再上色。不过,我当时画这组画的时候时间非常紧迫,这个分层技术需要数周的时间才能完成。后期可能需要再尝试或者试试同时画几幅画。