📘 Ulysses Page 001 is done!
I thought it would be the easiest of the first three pages, but it took the longest. You see Joyce mentions quite a few colours, shapes and textures on the first page of Ulysses, it was hard not to get literal. Especially as it is probably the first painting anyone would view of my series 'The Colours of Ulysses' for which I will create one artwork per page of Ulysses (that's 933 pages total).
I've been asked why I'm using the Penguin version, my choice was quite simple, I want people to be able to follow along if they so wish, especially people who have never read Ulysses before, and the Penguin version is widely available new and second hand.
Anyway, back to Page 001, at one point I did consider not finishing it at all, perhaps not even until I finished the remaining 932 pages. That's how challenging the process was, the pressure was getting to me. Page 002 came together like a breeze. Page 003 was a slow burner but started to take shape after a while, but Page 001, WOW... did it give me a hard time!
I can't tell you how many times I stood back to try find a new perspective, how many time I re-read Page 001 of Ulysses, how many notebook pages I titled Page 001 (again), and went over and over. Trying not to let the shape of the tower come through, honouring each colour mentioned but ensuring the main colour, yellow, was dominant.
Yellow, the first colour Joyce mentions in Ulysses, the colour of optimism, cheerfulness, joy but also can be the colour of warning. It was the teaming up with the pale oak hair that was tripping me up as I really don't like yellow and brown together. It was not sitting well with me.
Although not mentioned, the lather from the shaving was important to me, I see white, signifying purity, a fresh start. I wanted blood red to be lying beneath the surface, not apparent at first. The gold I wanted to be found between the red and yellow, not giving it obvious real estate of Page 001.
Pages 004, 005, 006 canvas will be made next week, I'll let you know how they're coming on soon.