Trying out some Sennelier oil pastels I recently acquired, (usual subject, a young Japanese woman with very large breasts, whom I admire greatly, and for reasons much more complex and meaningful than the simplistic-minded will give me credit for,) on a stretched unprimed 12 oz cotton canvas, 18 x 24″, but didn’t like the result.
Sennelier invented this material (oil pastels) for Picasso, and one is supposed to be able to use it on virtually any support. I’m not so sure that using it on raw canvas works.
I used turpentine spirits to thin the oil pastel colours and even threw in some oil paint too, stuff without extenders in it, pure pigment and linseed / poppy oil.
Anyway, not liking the image I decided I’d still use the canvas and gave it 3 coats of acrylic primer paint over the pastel / oil colour image, and even gave a coat to the back of the canvas to help make it technically secure.
Now, this morning I drew the blinds and noticed the oil image beneath the acrylic primer was shining, shimmering, mirage-like. The photos give a very inadequate idea of what it is I’m talking about.
Long story short, the word, “mirage,” with all its connotations, has now embedded itself in my brain and it tells me, Peter, you have a theme, a good theme, explore it. And the voice / thought is right, of course! My painting generally has been about mirages, not just those seen with the eyes, but those visual interferences seen by a part of the brain that has nothing to do with sight: as in migraine auras / eidetic images. Oh and of course by the mind (whatever that is) and its world of subjective ideas.
I see, by the way, that the word, “mirage,” is closely related etymologically to the terms, “admire,” and “mirror.” This gets more and more interesting! But I won’t say any more although there is a great deal that could be said on this subject…
Isn’t light what the art of painting is all about?
The word has been appropriated too by our warmongering masters! Modern fighter jets, but what do they have to do with mirages? I suppose they are so fast they appear to be mirages / hallucinations to those on the ground!