Alarm bells should ring when you hear this work was produced by myself — for myself. When artists produce art for themselves, they get carried away. Don’t get me wrong. It is on par with other stuff I’ve produced. But I underestimated the effort involved in this tetraptych, and the effort overshadows the quality to this day. All in all, it required a little daily and concentrated effort for two years.
The painting was made to fit the full width of the end wall in my home. The sheer scale of it made it most comfortably spread over 4 stretched canvases that were then joined together at the back.
At the time, I also had a peculiar idea of being extra thorough. It manifested itself in several ways:
It was the first work of art, where an old flemish technique had to be introduced for the sheer hell of it. But unlike Flemish masters, who worked in high-pigment load tempera and then oils, this job was painted in student grade acrylics.
There was also an attempt to do a sentimental double portrait of two people I love to bits. Now double portraits tend to be challenging. But alright, my wife and son were relegated to the left in the composition, and that reduced the complexity a tad.
Then there was the fluttering, flying, ephemeral looking poultry, the sky at dawn and the buildings. Art nouveau architecture of the Parisian ilk just looked gorgeous at the time. My wife and I had been smitten a little by the flat we rented at the time. The multi-storey bloc of flats was built in that particular period. For the architectural setting, however I looked at Parisian buildings. In the end, the composite sketch used a decent part of Paris, and the odd bit from Prague. The fact that this had to be tied together in perspective, made it an unnecessarily longwinded process to get right. Lots of checking lines vanishing points and keeping everything in check with plenty of masking tape.