Friday, 28 February 2014

Random Harvest. How decisions can be taken. Dutch painting, 2014, Acrylics on canvas, 75cm x 100cm

A conversation I had with a painter colleague dealt with colour, and combinations of incongruous hues. My friend jokingly suggested a combination I could think of including in a work, namely orange and purple. I enjoyed the conversation greatly and took his suggestion as an honourable challenge and I suddenly felt I must build a painting on this very theme. Orange opposes blue on the colour wheel so I wanted blue in there, to have these kicking against each other on the canvas for eternity. Purple has tremendous dignity and an otherworldly aloofness I wanted to emphasize, thus I let her float over the arguing couple. To be given a random brief can sometimes help us move outside our comfort zone, and as soon as I had braved the orange I felt I had earned the right to work with the ultimate colour, the grandfather of all colours, namely white. The fact that my friend comes from Holland made the choice of orange appropriate and the advisory role he played added a communal feel to the work. As a counter challenge I gave him white and pink. He managed to deal with this duo without difficulty.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Horizontals, verticals and decisions. Yellow, white and black lines, Feb 2014 Acrylics on canvas, 50cm x 75cm

Directions matters in an image, they guide the eyes and give a rhythm to our associations. Most of my work assumes a horizontal narrative. Verticals I find entirely different in nature, less forgiving but also more powerful. The energy given out by verticals is higher, the image gains urgency but there is little peace to be had. Horizontals are still, calm but has less to do with life. Perhaps this is why I prefer horizontals. It is a peculiar fact in my mind that were I to paint but two straight lines across the canvas, regardless of uneven positioning, they'll always work horizontally. Vertically the same two stripes would seriously corrupt the composition were they unevenly placed. Activity versus passivity, doing versus being and many similar analogies. I engineered a meeting between the two aspects in this work, and as you can see negotiations are in full swing. Unusually I used a brush here, a tool I rarely find employable.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Edges and continuum. Yellow, red and white band, Feb 2014. Mixed media on canvas, 80cm x 100cm

The edges of the canvas can be approached in different ways. They can be the fence within which the motif lives, or finds itself arranged. Alternatively they can be the signallers that indicate to the viewer that what we see on the canvas may stretch out in infinity beyond where the canvas meets the wall. In the latter case the edges point outwards, into what we cannot see, whereas in the former case the edges invite us to partake in the feast that has been served up in the central area of the painting. I find myself using the latter approach in most cases. Here the areas propel themselves sideways into space at the same time as they stand perfectly still. All enquiries to

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Proportions in space. Abstract composition, Feb 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 50cm

The intensity of content is varied by many different components. Colour, shape and the proportions between them are fundamental building blocks to be sure. Beyond these we have an infinite array of other parts, and considering these, it's a challenge to stay even close to some kind of coherence in a painting. I worked carefully with areas, and placement here, and returned to the canvas numerous times. Initially texture had played a bigger role, but as the colours grew in significance the textural element diminished. I seeked the advice from fellow artists on a few occasions and this was always very helpful. The palette knife was again crucial for determining the nature of the outcome of this work. All enquiries to