Alone and seduced

"Alone and seduced" by Jeroen Carelse - Acrylic - 2019

In some previous studies, I explored the feeling of loneliness and being lost. I asked myself “why would I go into such a situation?”. This painting attempts to answer that question in part. There is a seduction that takes place. In this painting, the seduction is the beauty of the forest represented by female legs and arms.

Another theme that is interwoven is that of curiosity and go into dangerous territories. Curiosity kills and the cat, and, the cat with the nine lives. This tension of nine lives and death is curious. Does the cat not worry too much about the first eight lives perhaps? How often can I tempt (social) death and get away with it? This opens a Pandora box of possibilities and more questions.

I will make my point, don’t worry. Once again, in this painting there are many layers. Halfway I asked myself: can I not be more effective, why all these layers as I can paint -this- colour in one go? I have the concept sort of in my mind but the process of painting is my exploration of what to exactly (or approximately) paint. So no, I cannot – yet – do a paint-by-number thing.

The process

It is a desire for something exciting to take place in an environment as beautiful as threatening as the forest, nature. Are the legs part of the wildness or are they inhabitants of that nature?

Watching the opening scene of a Deep Purple (Deep Purple Live August 1985 at The Alpine Valley) concert and there I saw a laser light show. With my mind primed to get ideas for the painting, I saw how these colours could work as a gradient backdrop, as a northern light reference to the Nordics. Maybe I include this idea, probably not though.

Before that, I was thinking on how to find suitable source materials on legs and arms wrapped around verticals. Then poledancing came into mind. There should be enough imagery on that I suppose.

The forest reference materials I got from the local Aulanko forest, that was easy. Am not happy about the angles yet as I wish to rather be at the ground level facing upwards. Being helpless perhaps, or as a tramp in the gutter? The female legs are references to seduction, decay, threat, surprise and the mysterious.

Why would there be legs in the forest? Are they there to seduce me to go further into the forest perhaps? Fear of the unknown or curiosity about the unknown?

The problem I find with this painting is that at some point the trees become realistic looking enough to be believable. But they should not be a realistic tree, they should represent the archetype or class of trees. Do I need to make them less realistic and whack some paint over them? Or should trees be represented abstractly? But I do not want to make an abstract painting either.

In other words, this is a search for answers rather the exercise to give answers. I hope this makes sense.