Anne Duffy
09 Oct 07 by Anne Duffy
Anne Duffy artworks

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Dark Night Has Come Down

the title is taken from a catholic hymn, the words are Dark night has come down on us Mother and we look to Thy shining sweet star of the sea. The words were running through my head as I painted. It was a bad time. I had a premonition of berevement.

The Sheepscull Summer
The Sheepscull Summer
The Sheepscull Summer

I saw these sculls while I was out walking. I painted this in the depths of grief.

08 Nov 07 22:44

This is a lovely painting. I can picture it in its true size and it just seems right. From the depths of grief or not, your mindset aside, it feels light and breezy and as though it was executed easily. Of course I see the subject matter but it's the sheer abstract painterliness of it that I truly enjoy.

10 Nov 07 19:47

Thank you Hillel, I really appreciate that. Painting is a wonderful and mysterious thing, there is your conscious intention,there are all sorts of things that come out from your unconscious and then there is the paint itself or the medium itself, which leads you in all sorts of ways. I love handling paint.

The Shore of Memory
The Shore of Memory
The Shore of Memory

chidhood holidays. remembrance of family

23 Feb 08 20:44

i can relate to this painting it seems kind of sad to me in its umbiguity nice positive -negative shapes

23 Feb 08 21:39

I was sad when I painted it as my brother had died. I am the only person in the picture left. I could not paint their faces for emotional reasons.
Composition-wise, I had difficulty with the kite, and it still bugs me.

24 Feb 08 10:19

i can understand how you feel as i lost my sister who was my best model after she was gone for 2 years itried to paint portraits of her now that ilook at them ican see they weren't any good

24 Feb 08 19:14

Maybe you think they are not good technically but I imagine they have a presence far more powerful than a photograph.

25 Feb 08 20:03

I feel a little out of place making a comment here, as apparently you share an emotional experience I don't, but I would like to say this:

There is nothing wrong with the kite. Absolutely not. Actually, it is an element that draws a diagonal line starting from the man's shoe and moving beyond the horizon (if you see it three-dimensionally) or the upper left part of the painting (two dimensionally speaking), drawing the attention to an imaginary vertical axes which divides the two figures on the left, and which is parallel to another vertical axes dividing the two figures on the foreground (or another drawn by the man’s leg and the dripping above it). Both axes are almost equally distanced from the edges of the painting. It is such a “by the book” composition, everything is balanced so perfectly that it makes you feel some kind of metaphysical stillness and silence.

At a second glance though, there is again the kite’s string. I hadn’t noticed that the fist time I saw this painting of yours, which by the way is my favourite. This string makes the wind blow in the picture. It is the only line which is not a straight perspective axes. It goes around in a spiral rout. It contrasts with the stillness and becomes complementary to the fact that there are figures without faces and a figure with a face.

So, everything comes to place and you suddenly know why this perfect balance was necessary and what the wind and the stillness are all about.

26 Feb 08 19:46

wow! I never realised all that but you are right. It was all done on instinct but now I see what you mean. The difficulty I had with the kite was not it's position but the size and the colour. These changed many times, never really to my satisfaction.

The Redemption of Summer
The Redemption of Summer
The Redemption of Summer

I summoned everything in me to let go and look forward.

October Fields, Dumfries
October Fields, Dumfries
October Fields, Dumfries

I'd been living in a spot surrounded by hills, which felt claustrophobic. I liked the open aspect of these fields seen from the A76 between Dumfries and Thornhill.

29 Oct 07 20:05

Anne, I would like to ask you what you think of Anselm Kiefer on one hand, and Edvard Munch on the other (this came to me mostly by your Shore of Memory).

30 Oct 07 14:59

Maria, I saw some of Kiefer's work years ago at Tate Liverpool and loved it but Munch's work does nothing for me. "The Shore of Memory" was one of the paintings I made following my brother's death 2 yrs ago. My Mother and Father are gone also. I found I couldn't put the faces in. I would be interested to know why you thought of Anselm Kiefer and Edvard Munch. The pain of loss?

30 Oct 07 19:46

Well, it had nothing to do with pain or anything. Just the way your paintings are painted. This one and the next made me think of Kiefer because of (as far as I can make out of the image on the screen) the flatness and at the same time deep perspective of the paintings, plus what seems to be thick material surface. I thought of Munch because of the long contour brushstrokes and simple, flowing forms without much detail.

Thanks for the storm of comments on my work...

Dark Canyons of Gold
Dark Canyons of Gold
Dark Canyons of Gold

A memory of a visit to Australia

Reclining Nude
Reclining Nude
Reclining Nude

No deep meaning, just a sketch done in a life class.

10 Nov 07 21:30

Well, not everything needs to be motivated by a deeper meaning. I tend to look for deeper meaning most of the time while painting and it is a counteraction. Sometimes you start without an intention for meaning and it shows up on its own regardless. It emerges through paint and form (if it is any good).
I am sort of saying this in order to absorb it better myself. It was an advice from a friend.

11 Nov 07 12:22

I agree that things emerge as you paint. And not everything has to be "deep." There is joy in colour and pattern, in line.

16 Aug 08 01:16

A very lovely drawing Anne... a work of art. The deeper meaning is within us all and will always reveal itself. Pursue your formal concerns, that's what drives us on. The feeling, the passion, call it whatever you want, if it's strong enough will always make itself known.

In the Smithy-The Big Blue Machine
In the Smithy-The Big Blue Machine
In the Smithy-The Big Blue Machine

a large painting, one of a series I did in a blacksmith's workshop. I'd never painted machinery before but became fascinated with this place.

Outside the Smithy
Outside the Smithy
Outside the Smithy

tractors rusting in the long grass

04 Dec 07 23:28

There's something about both your "Smithy" paintings that I really enjoy, I meant to comment when I saw the "Big Blue Machine" and I really like this one. You're a terrific colourist as far as I'm concerned (I don't know exactly what "colourist" mean other than the little jolt of surprise I get from the colours in quite few of your works). And I love the rustic brush drawing in both these paintings. I do have a question about the posted sizes of the works that seem contrary to the squarish images that I'm viewing. Did you crop the j-pegs? I do like the formats but would be interested to see the whole paintings if they are the sizes described. I don't know if it makes much of a difference. I'm personally very partial to square formats so I wonder if the true dimensions would alter my opinion in any way, whatever.