Monday, January 19, 2015

A New Beginning, a Mark Hollis Discovery

Since three months, I've been like struck by a Mark Hollis-Talk Talk disease. It started with a weird dream where I was arguing with an unknown guy who wanted to change the bass line of the It's My Life track. We were in a recording studio, and I was telling him, or rather yelling at him that he couldn't change this line, that it was going to ruin the whole song, that it was a shame to do so, and I started singing this bass line to him, as if I was a bass player myself, which is certainly not the case! In my dream, it was overwhelming enough to awake me in the middle of the night. And the first thing I did, once up, was to check on YouTube if the bass line I was singing was right, and if it was still there! Of course it was still there, I didn't have all my mind obviously! :-)

This dream was disturbing enough to make me think of it during at least one week until I decided to pay a visit to the Such A Shame clip video that I already knew. This clip always made me laugh but strangely, I had the feeling that I would find a secret answer by watching it. In fact, I didn't find any answer, but it created thousands of new questions.
It also made me paint again.

I had stopped painting during nine years. Because of an unfortunate turn in my love life, I found myself unable to paint again: you know, the blank page, no imagination at all, nothing was interesting enough to inspire me. I really thought that my inspiration was coming from my happiness, and also maybe from my ex-partner, but since he was not there anymore: the total blank. At the worst peak of this drama, I couldn't even remember how to hold a brush! It could almost be ridiculous and funny if I was not so sad not to paint again...
And then, that day, when I was in front of this clip video, watching it again and again, as I always did before, but not by the same way this time, I was laughing, because Mark Hollis is very funny in it. But also, it was like if someone had hit my head; it was the magic awakening from a very long and sad sleep. 

Suddenly, I had to listen to Talk Talk again, all the time, something that I forbid myself during nine years before, because of the souvenirs attached to this Music; I was listening to the It's My Life Album when I met my ex-husband.
But I was also very interested in Mark Hollis personality, especially when I discovered that he stopped his tours mostly because he wanted to be there for his kids. That was very touching! I put my career on hold myself when I was younger to take care of my kids, but I certainly didn't have the fame and the success he had, such a courageous decision from him! It made me see him differently, actually, I didn't know much about him before, I only knew his Music and even not all of it. And suddenly, it was like if a dream and a clip video were telling me: "look at this man, he is interesting, he is a genius, you will learn a lot from him, and he is the perfect subject for your paintings". 

More I was reading about him, or listening to him in interviews, more I was sure that I had missed something huge all these years. And when I started listening to Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock and the Mark Hollis Album, I couldn't believe what I was discovering! Who could have known that the man who was singing Mirror Man could evolve into these last three albums? And still, it is him from the very beginning to the end: talent, genius, sensibility, depth, sincerity, cleverness, kindness and a great sense of humor, even if at the end, it is becoming more sad.

What happened to me? I have no f... idea...
One thing is sure, is that I am painting again.

It started with a very easy acrylic on wood piece showing Mark Hollis in an Italian TV show where he doesn't give much and is hiding behind his sunglasses:

Then, I could respond to a commissioned work which had nothing to do with Talk Talk or Mark Hollis, but the Laughing Stock Album inspired me to do this Venice Beach piece:

And three days ago, I finally tackled a major painting, which is for me a big jump in my subconscious somehow. It is this time a true Mark Hollis portrait which will be done with oil paints on canvas. So far, I just did the charcoal draft which defines all. I spent one whole afternoon doing it, so much I wanted it to be perfect, to be exactly what I was seeing. I suffered because portraying is the most difficult task for me, even if I already did many portraits of other people. It is one thing to paint what I see, and another thing to try to show the soul of the portrayed person. Here, I had the feeling that if I was making this painting, I was going to dive in something very serious and important to me. 
I am in the middle of this task, I feel confused and exhilarated in the same time, I can't explain that... It reminds me the funny clip video, and in the same time it immerses me in something very deep.
Maybe one day, after a long quest, I will find my answers, and I will know why all this?

And also, it made me start something completely new to me: YouTube videos where I am showing myself.
I am certainly not a film maker, and I have a lot to learn. But suddenly, it was like if the conversation I would dream to have with him, was starting on my YouTube channel and with the whole World. In fact, some people are contacting me to talk about it, about the Music, about Mark Hollis, about Talk Talk, about inspiration and the creative process. 
The power of Music is really unbelievable!
I always could paint only on Music, and here I am again, painting on Mark Hollis and/or Talk Talk. If I had been told that four months ago, I wouldn't have believed it!

You will find my last video here:

Once on YouTube, you can browse on my channel to find all the videos I posted so far about Mark Hollis or Talk Talk, if it does interest you.
I plan to do more about Arts and Crafts, but my Mark Hollis/Talk Talk quest will continue, so much creativity is involved, so much beauty is in their Music, it's like if I was listening to something very familiar and sacred, and I was translating it on my canvas. 
Yes, Mrs Humble it's me... :-)
By a more simple way I will say, thank you Mr Mark David Hollis and thank you Talk Talk to give me so much and to have saved me from my long lethargy.
Another reason to be grateful.