Dilemma as I de­cided art work for gallery wall

Rochdale Observer - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

AS a rule I’m not nor­mally shy about shar­ing my work with the world, let’s face it, you can­not be a shrink­ing vi­o­let in the cre­ative world, whether it be writ­ing, sing­ing or paint­ing it is heart on sleeve time.

How­ever with the lat­ter I’m prob­a­bly more ret­i­cent than with the other two, and that’s be­cause I know there are many, many artists who are bet­ter than me. With this in mind, I was in a bit of a dilemma this week when I hung four works by the uber-tal­ented Ir­ish artist Cor­mac O’Leary. You see there was a space on the wall for one more large can­vas, and my Euro­pean bi­son, de­picted in the wilds of the Bialowieska for­est in East­ern Poland, just filled that gap - with the added ad­van­tage that the over­all colour of the paint­ing matched the ‘willow’ colour I had cho­sen for the wall.

Of course visi­tors to the gallery will be the judges, but on the sub­ject of colour plan­ning it is def­i­nitely a ‘thing,’ and I am not on my own in the art world when it comes to this. For ex­am­ple, one pa­tron of the Laugh­ing Bad­ger bought a paint­ing be­cause the red of one of my foxes ‘picked out’ the red in her cur­tains.

From a busi­ness per­spec­tive one needs to be philo­soph­i­cal on these mat­ters, a sale is a sale and all that, but truth be known, one would rather a buyer talk about my fox cut­ting a vi­brant dash across the work in­stead of old Rey­nard fit­ting in well with her fix­tures and fit­tings. In con­so­la­tion, as I sit in my gar­ret,I am in good com­pany and my favourite story in this vein in­volves an art dealer at the turn of the 20th cen­tury who had the temer­ity to com­mis­sion Matisse to paint four large can­vasses with lots of blue and yel­low in them, to go with the Gau­guins he had in his din­ing room. Oh for a seat at that ta­ble.

Cor­mac’s work lifts me up by the scruff of the neck and slaps me around the chops each morn­ing as I watch the early morn­ing light dance slowly across his oils like some­one lazily trac­ing a flash­light across the con­fi­dent strokes of his pal­ette knife.

It is a won­der­ful world I live in, and morn­ings are my spe­cial time with cof­fee in hand, sit­ting in a dif­fer­ent chair with a new view each day. Cor­mac’s work makes that mag­i­cal leap be­tween in­door and out, bridg­ing the gap be­tween the imag­ined and re­al­ity with a seem­ingly ef­fort­less sleight of hand, maybe even ar­ti­fice, as Molly’s rolling fields spill into O’Leary’s mythic forests and stark shores and back again with ease. I’m happy here.

There is more of a con­nec­tion be­tween my work and Cor­mac’s than

●●A paint­ing by Cor­mac O’Leary

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