Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Over by Christmas

Over by Christmas
When the guns of August 1914 began to roar, England found itself with an under-manned professional army. Within a few weeks recruiting posters were to be found across the kingdom and Lord Kitchener was declaiming "Your country needs you!" Young men rushed to heed the call before it was too late. Popular opinion stated that the war would be "over by Christmas". When Christmas came, there would be nearly four more long, horrific years of conflict.

I painted the background of the canvas using a block stencil, in alternating red and blue to give an illusion of a brick wall. Blue and red were spattered across the surface, which was then given a coat of cream glaze to age and soften the colours. Xerox copies of recruiting posters, and family groups saying good-bye before boarding troop trains were adhered with matte medium.

Red, blue and white rosettes anchor the top corners, a silver shilling with the imprint of George V centers each one. Early optimism that, with hindsight, breaks the heart.

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