My employer asked me to paint an image of a dove suitable for a christmas card for this yearâ€™s charity sales range. As a painter of birds this shouldnâ€™t be too difficult. But it really is! Deeply embedded into my psyche is â€˜dove image = christian godâ€™ that everything I paint seems to Goddy. My â€˜inner cynicâ€™ tells me this must be The Lord working in mysterious ways through my paintbrushes. My â€˜inner realistâ€™ tells me that I have looked at too many renaissance paintings and the dove symbolism is burned into my brain.
I painted a dove card a couple of years ago. This one:
I liked it very much. Still do.
But this time I wanted to paint a more realistic dove, not just a dove shape. And I think this is the problem. My first attempt is here:
Itâ€™s OK and I love those colours and the dove but it feels so goddamn Goddy! My brief was to used lots of yellow and oranges, but against a white dove I felt it would come out too popish and catholic. *shudder*
I tried it again, but without the Christmas paraphernalia running up each side:
Still too Goddy!
So I thought Iâ€™d go back to basics, and harking back to Picassoâ€™s famous dove, got out a thick marker pen and produced this in seconds:
I like this one much the best, but will my employer? What do you think?