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(From our "Quarterly Magazine")
Time immemorial - a time in the past, so long ago that even the Artist may have no surviving knowledge or memory of it and this piece, created a very long time ago, was brought back into the light, resurrected, enlivened, repossessed.
"Time immemorial" is a phrase generally taken to mean a time extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition, indefinitely ancient, "ancient beyond memory or record" but what do you call a time where, yes, it was a long time ago, and you may not even recall when, but not so long ago that one could term it "ancient"?
This painting dates from an era where, being very, very young, the Artist had no concept of classical painting terms or techniques and may even have its roots in school religious lessons where talk of Adam and Eve were, even then, beginning to mix with the Artist's interest in exploring ancient scripts and myths, much of which was very hard to research in the era of zero internet and just reliance on the local area public library.
And so, even back then, the struggle began, to bring LIGHT to a dark place (one's own lack of any formal art training or knowledge) and it was, certainly, just an unconscious urge, to "have something more illuminating" in any one day, though the Artist was approaching the stage where, as he got a bit older, of becoming aware that by the 15th/16th centuries Renaissance artists such as Leonardo used "chiaroscuro" in their works (though chalk was never a technique the Artist liked personally) and the way forward was opening up for him with - Oil Paint!
Certainly, as chronicled elsewhere, the young artist, younger than twelve years old, spent many a Sunday studying classical art at London's Tate Gallery and National Gallery, roaming the halls, observing the surface textures and passages of paint and brushwork, nose almost pressed against the surface of the canvas pondering "how did they do that?" and spending the late afternoons back home trying to create the effects he'd observed earlier in the day.
And so, it was an interesting challenge for the Artist, to enliven this ancient piece, to use all the accumulated painting skills and creative knowledge (be it of Chiaroscuro, glazing, dry brush and more) to bring it to contemporary standards yet retain the simple, fresh and honest vision of the piece created so long ago in an era scant of such knowledge and skill.
And - it was a "very pleasurable" experience for the Artist, discovering that in uniting the unknowing desire of so long ago with his contemporary ability if so desired to override, modify, or even obliterate his past brush work, it proved pleasantly unnecessary.
"To my utter surprise, I found I had to do very, very little indeed, to bring it to a level I consider "contemporary" and that was really needed was to survey and re-varnish any areas that had dulled or become scuffed, in fact, virtually nothing."
Could this mean, that raw talent and skill take precedence over accumulated learned skills, and that output caused by a strong urge to create will survive beyond later knowledge that is grafted on to the basic urge, whatever its cause, to "create"?
Deborah Susan Jones, Writer.