Two pictures for the price of one this week – both by the same man, Victor Pasmore; both representing very different ways of seeing.
The one above is called Irish Girl and was painted in 1940. I like the fluid blurriness and rosy cheeks, and the way the milky whiteness of the girl’s skin almost matches the white of the blouse. Most of all I like the way she feels real. It hangs in The Aberdeen Art Gallery if you want to see it close up.
Pasmore is one of the very few artists who was critically acclaimed both for his figurative work and his abstract art. Not long after this portrait was painted he went completely over to the abstract side and stayed there. Yellow abstract (below) is in the Tate and painted 1960/61.
How to use Pasmore as an inspiration…
Write an impressionistic character study. Pay less attention to what s/he looks like and more to what you can sense in a few moments as an onlooker. We do it all the time in real life. The man who brushes past you in a queue might or might not be wearing glasses, but the smell of his beery breath stays with you.
Stare at Yellow Abstract for a minute. Concentrate. Then write for five minutes without worrying how good it is or if it is poetry or prose.
Embrace change. You don’t have to be stuck in a box unless it happens to be exactly where you want to be.