I read that emotions play a large part in successful painting - that we need to have some kind of emotional response to the subject. For me it's usually light conditions that have transformed a colour and I feel the need to record it in paint. But can emotions also have a negative effect? There's a place that I've sketched in pencil and watercolour and have tried to use these to make a painting. Its a strong scene, a place of crashing sea and soaring birds and deep aubergine cliffs. The work in oil started well but I've reached a complete standstill - because my emotional response to the place has changed. Initially it was a happy place for me but now all my emotions are negative because of later negative memories . My brushstrokes reflect this and do not dance. The creative process is blocked. Yet, visiting an exhibition of works by The Glasgow Boys I saw a watercolour showing a horse being gored at a bullfight, by Joseph Crawhill, who abhored the cruelty he believed he was seeing. Its a very strong image and shows his emotional response. So should I persevere at present - or wait until a future time when I hope I can remember my initial response to the colours and strength of the place instead?
The exhibition, The Glasgow Boys, is at The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow - and is breathtaking. www.glasgowmuseums.com