Wonders of the universe
There are many. Too many in fact. But one of the fascinations I have is with the birth of stars and the regions of space in which they are formed. In many a BBC documentary I have heard them being referred to as stellar nurseries – where dust clouds gather and become matter.
We’ve probably all seen some of the stunning images from the Hubble Space telescope at some point or another and it’s these haunting visual references that form the backbone, and subject matter, for this new contemporary painting called Andromeda.
Colour is an absolute fundamental for me. In this painting it’s even more important as space can be a pretty monotone affair.
I have been busy researching image data and studying the life cycles of stars and other planetary bodies. I’m hoping the choices of maroon and burgundy fused with a deep space blue and touches of red give enough contrast to the absoluteness of black and the ghostly, ephemeral teals and pinks.
Blending the colours has been a challenge – I have had to rely on some unusual tools and applicators to get the paint to move where I want it to. And perhaps the most important consideration was moving the paints fluidly across the canvas to mimic the formation of gas clouds and their associated structures. Fingers crossed I got that about right.
Deep space, and all that jazz
Unless we get in our spaceships and fly off on some mission to the edges of our galaxy (good luck with that) our only view in to this world of the cosmos comes from the images taken by Hubble (and soon to be the James Webb Space telescope).
CGI and a little imagination help produce some spectacular renders of what these heavenly phenomena must be like but there’s nothing that will ever come close to seeing it with our own eyes. That’s something I would love to do one day.
Until then I’ll be content with looking at this painting and reminding myself of how astonishing our universe is.
Living with the painting
You’ll need a reasonably big space and one that’s got a fairly good source of natural light (not direct though). It’s rather broody and smouldering too so I do think it’s quite a grown up piece; it’s got a distinctive maturity about it and a very strong theme, unlike many of my other contemporary paintings.
Shall we talk interior colour schemes?
No. Let’s not. I believe this is either a painting that gets you or it doesn’t. If it does you really won’t give a crap about your rugs and cushion covers because you’ll just want it anyway – and good for you because that’s exactly the right way to buy art. Well done you!
You can redecorate as many times as you want but there’s only one Andromeda.
I think that gets my point across.
- Canvas: Polyester 340gsm
- Preparation: One coat of primer, one additional skim coat
- Paints: Enamel paint (12 colours) made to my own recipe
- Frame: 44mm Museum graded floating frame with 8 tensioning corner wedges.
- Hand-stretched and stapled on the reverse
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