Friday, July 30, 2010

a private moment

Harry Kent, Private Moment, charcoal and oil on board, 56 x 72 cm

this is the third and last of my three charcoal-and-oil self-portraits for the time being.

i will now endeavour to head out in fresh directions.

firstly, new media ... i will try and create some self-portraits incorporating fabrics for texture, color, and pattern ... i will experiment with new kinds of paint, such as automotive enamels combined with traditional oils.

secondly, in developing my theme of aging, i will extend my focus beyond self-portraits. Still wishing to get in touch with feelings partially hidden from myself, i will attempt some portraits of family members, especially those invoking memories or reworking memories. I will use old family photos to revive buried memories. Needless to say, some of this will be painful for me.

But i believe the more it hurts, the more i will know i am in the 'zone'. The more intensely personal, sublimated into sound painting, the more universal its significance will be. Hopefully. The level of my success in that endeavour will be for my fellow bloggers to decide.

This painting, A Private Moment, is a precursor to that process.

My over-arching aim is to keep pressing forwards in my creative practice to discover mark-making methods that are both expressive and that feel native to me - my discover own unique style.


  1. It reflects a very private time.
    A time that sooner or later an arstist stands in front of your own mirror.
    J admire your search with different materials.

    Your paintings are a travel into the human mind.
    Best regards.

  2. Harry,

    I look forward to your future endervors. You provide us with nothing short of brillance with each post, and your honesty is appreciated. I just wish you were close by for some lessons!

    Thank you,

  3. Maravilloso trabajo. Puntapié inicial de muchas historias.

  4. great work.. I really like the lighting/shading. I'm excited to see what you do with your new media

  5. I'm almost speechless. Your work does not require words, it is so powerful. It takes my breath away ... seriously. Mixing media caught my attention in this post ... I am interested in your process, artistically and personally. Thanks you for sharing so deeply.

  6. I hope there are not just painful memories but happy ones, too. I look forward to your paintings from the "zone."

    I don't know how one could be more expressive than your charcoal and oil works. The search for what feels native sounds exciting--it could bring you back to burning a stick and drawing with charcoal.

  7. Azucena, i think you have put it well - i'm trying to make a journey into the human mind. Maybe i'm simply continuing my fascination with the human heart as a psychologist, but through portrait painting instead of behavioural science.

  8. Yes, Brian, it would be great to visit each others' studios, but as for giving lessons, haha, this blog is all about the risks and modest achievements of a struggling learner.

    I have a Postgraduate Critique session coming up on the 25th when i'll have half an hour to present my work to date and be exposed for the way i'm actually just floundering about haha.

    Meantime, i much appreciate everyone's support here, helping give me the confidence to face that room full of critics (gulp).

  9. gracias, vico

    thanks Kristin ... i've just been out to the studio trying to build the foundations of a face using bandages that i can then work into with oils. Trying not to get the thing looking like a mummy. At the moment it's sheer torture and looks like an untidy birds nest, haha.

  10. Jennifer, in turn, i'm left speechless by your genuine enthusiasm for my work. Thank you so very much. Interesting that you mention progress artistically and personally together, for i guess that is what i'm trying to achieve - develop forms of creative practice that aptly express a human journey and are integral to that journey.

  11. hi Hallie. Certainly there are happy memories. But these have not been the cause of whatever personality dysfunctions i carry, and it is these dysfunctions that fuel my expressive art.

    And both my parents died within six months of each other not too long ago and i guess i still need to fully lay them to rest. Inevitably that will mean revisiting some pain as i work out my identity as an aging orphan.

    That tale is so common among my age cohort that i hope others will find some personal relevance in whatever art results from my inquiry.

  12. Hi Harry , I like more this one than the last one In this one there is mystery , space to meditate , and some hope .
    I do like Francis Bacon ( I think U like his work too), his paintings are strong too , but some irony is there ...
    I know this world is very disappointing ,and suffering is around us and inside us , but I prefer to evade this reality , and fly into others levels , others dimensions (:
    take care
    a big hug

  13. I just do not understand how in Gods name you still think of yourself as one who is not having own,unique style? I would recognize it in thousands of works,OK in the beginning of our bloggy friendship,than I was not quite sure what was yours and what of other artists but,I mean,not only that you work with style,but also with honesty,charming,great and graceful thorough studies of life and death trough your own face! Good luck with everything Harry!It is a pleasure to come here and your other blog!
    Warm greetings,Aleksandra!

  14. Ola Harry,
    Novas experiências sempre renovam a alma e a mente.
    Congratulações pela iniciativa,a renovação sempre exige coragem e firmesa na decisão.

  15. a very touching work Harry and an excellent composition.
    looking forward to seeing what you focus on next.

  16. hi marialuisa, i can understand why you might wish take flight from some of the harsher realities of life - we all do. Looking to art for idealised beauty is one way of doing that.

    While i can't agree with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living (all life is precious, including a life lived in unawareness), i have set myself the task of exploring the emotions associated with entering old age as part of university Masters research project. Reporting on my progress in this reaearch is what this blog is mostly about.

    And to do this i need to be as honest as i can and go as deeply as i am capable of going. During semseter breaks i get to do some recreational painting, like the Portrait Party (see below).

    Meantime, i'm afraid i'll need to keep fronting the human condition as it pertains to our aging and elderly. Thanks for dropping by to have a look and leaving your thoughts.


  17. Olá, Jaime. 'Strong madness' - maybe it lost in translation from the Portuguese, but i love it, haha. Great to have you visit my blog.

  18. Aleks you are wonderfully kind, such a lovely soul.You give me a real lift. Thank you for all the lovely compliments.And thank you for the bloggy friendship (sounds nice, bloggy). Warm wishes and hugs, harry.

  19. Obrigado Paulo para compreender e para o seu encorajamento. Está bom amigo.

  20. Hi Harry ,some of the harsher realities of life ? I would say profound injustice of life that touches everyone ; realized by some but not by others.
    I will continue to cope ...(: ,because I like your paintings basically ; and than U'll finish your M.R.P. one day (:

  21. hi rahina. Yes, i'm curious myself as to what will appear next, lol. It was all just a dog's breakfast when i left the studio today - quite disheartening. But it's early days and i have to plug on in faith that something will gel. Cheers.

  22. hi marialuisa. Yes, youre right, life doesn't seem fair sometimes, and we all cope as best we can, in our various ways. But there is also a lot of goodness and beauty in life and we should savour that while it is there and while we can. Thanks for finding something to like in my work and for believing i'll succeed in finishing the course one day - i wish i had your confidence, haha ... big hugs.

  23. I'm just catching up on responding to comments. Thank you for reminding me of Alex Kanevsky. I will be getting back to my carcinoid tumour abstracts soon and his paintings informed me the direction I want to take.

    There's always so much stuff zipping past me, through me, some things sticking, others lost only to be returned by someone who has caught and kept it to share with me again.

  24. Wow Ive missed a lot Harry, love the charcoal work. This has got to be my favourite, just stunning, you can tell youve really thought about it. Its a very strong image dispensing with a lot of those middle values and leaving plenty for us to imagine, very cleverly done:)

  25. Hi Elizabeth, yes, as the size of one's blogging community grows, so does the time required to maintain engagement, to comment and reply to comments.

    One may even begin to feel a social press to paint more often than is one's natural rhythm, or paint different subjects, or write more or write less or write differently about one's painting. Caio has currently posted a very strong personal perspective on this, in his usual humorous, engaging manner.

    I too am behind with my comments and replies, and now i have to go to Hobart til next week to attend a reception hosted by our State Governor. Meanwhile i have two painting part finished, one of which is quite defeating me. When do i get time to paint? Arrrrrh.

    Soooo,i'm glad i triggered Alex Kanevsky again for you, Elizabeth, and thanks for triggering this opportunity for me to have a moan, haha. Take care.

  26. i have too, Sam. There are so many terrific artists to see and leave comment that by the time one gets back, an artist has two, theree or four new works up! And when they are as immaculate as your ladies of the field the rush of beauty and creativity is quit over-whelming. Thanks for catching up and thanks for the very positive comment on a style of work markedly different from the lavish care and attention to detail in your own amazing art. Cheers.

  27. Powerful your latest works, Harry, you're already in my Links, a hug.

  28. Harry, your paintings are always so expressive... I love this introspective one !

  29. Harry,
    all self-portrait with oil and coal are incredible and amazing,
    as far as the poses and technique; liked all!
    I'm sure you'll enjoy the new experiences ...

  30. Stunning! Looking forward to this new series. Interesting idea that your friends and family members would be part of your self portrait series. Makes sense to me!