Last weekend we wandered the quiet winter streets of Porto stealing photographs of street art, old doors, old windows, strings of washing, lived in windows with decorative lace curtains and watched as birds circled in the sky above us.
This post shows the progression of my current work in progress, a large canvas depicting an old door and integrating motifs based on memories of the city. I’m calling the painting ‘Lives lived here’ as so much of this city has buildings that are unoccupied but which speak of their history in subtle ways.
First layer with outline composition painted onto wet canvas ©Mary Price 2016
Second layer introduces dark tones and a variety of marks scratched into the surface with sharp bamboo skewers ©Mary Price 2016
Third layer and more colours added and elements and motifs to bring meaning into the work are added, symbols, arrows, birds and the washing line strings ©Mary Price 2016
Memories of the street art by Hazul Luzah are introduced into the bottom right corner in the figurative form and the diamond shapes that appear on many of his works; the words ‘lives lived here’ are etched into white paint reinforcing the history of people who inhabited the crumbling buildings that abound in this wonderful city. A lace curtain with a finely stitched bird is a stolen image from a window on the waterfront. I signed the painting thinking it finished but I think I was a little premature. There is more to do. ©Mary Price 2016
The street art image becomes more defined looking like a huddled ghost whilst the swifts are brought into sharper focus against pale backgrounds. Maybe the figure gives a sense of the past lives lived, a symbol guarding memory. Notice the padlock and chain on the door sealing in the memories. I have since added a heart to the padlock – it may remain or it may be taken away! ©Mary Price 2016