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Last Check (68 60 x 44 cm)

The artist used the rule of thirds in this *‘portaricature’, (a fusion of portrait and caricature) and placed the points of interest, the eyes and mouths, at or near the four ‘eyes’ of the canvas.

When observing this painting, the viewer’s focus is led immediately to the principal subject, the skydiver, (the artist), on the right, and it rests temporarily on his enlarged, expressive eyes inside his blue goggles. The viewer’s eyes then travel down his long nose to large colourful lips, and across to the secondary subject, (possibly a reflection of the main subject), the skydiver on the left, who is running through the procedures to make sure (in his mind), that all the gear is safe. The eyes then scan the canvas for detail. Though the skydiver on the left has a closed mouth there still seems to be communication between the two subjects. The main subject appears to be listening and thinking.

The artist used white and soft, pastel coloured paints from his palette, to show light entering the canvas from the bottom. The subject’s expressive eyes reflect light also. The artist applied well blended paint and used a controlled hand and smooth brush strokes when he painted Last Check. To give a textured effect, thin layers of paint on the helmets were painted over each other. Solid, dark line surrounds most of the artist’s face and is wider on his left side where it has more tonal value. This suggests shadow. However, the painting remains ‘flat’, with little three dimensional suggestion. There is some texture in the blue sky background, and there is sufficient space between the subjects.

The pasty, elongated, mask-like face, large colourful lips, enlarged eyes and blue goggles are the artist’s ‘signatures’ in many of his paintings.

The mood of the painting is apprehensive.

Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed. Small enhancement during restoration.)

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