This is a very interesting and dynamic piece of black and silver art. Unlike the other light and dark paintings I have available right now this one uses silver (not white) as the opposing colour to black. It’s a decision made to add a more subtle shading quality to the steps in between the two base colours.
Notes about mixing colours
When you mix white and black you get grey; nothing out of the ordinary there. The story changes though when white gets replaced with silver. To make the most of the unique properties of metallic paint I tend to do two things: I mix away from the canvas in a pot but also do it on the surface of the painting.
The story changes again as the properties of each method differ, thus giving a marginally different result every time.
So instead of a solid grey mass what you actually get is a very deep reflective paint finish that never really turns any specific colour – it kind of stays a little separated as it dries. This allows you see both silver and black at the same time, it’s very cool, believe me.
But of course it doesn’t just end there, oh no. Add in cream and gold (and mix and apply in the same way) and it transforms yet again. It’s in these accents that the personality of the painting appears. I know that sounds a bit strange but it’s the only way I can think to describe it.
So it has a personality then?
I think so yes. It’s actually split onto three distinctive areas: the deep crescendo of never-ending black, the complex central structures that are fighting to escape the oblivion and the light and carefree cloud-like movements at the other side.
Three clear parts to an artwork that is as light or heavy as you decide to make it. If I delve a little deeper I see it as an escape or a release. Who doesn’t look up to the sky on a bright day and feel the power of light? It’s a life-giver, a hope-provider and fuel to believe in a better tomorrow.
Or it’s just a load of black and silver paint that’s darker on one side than the other! It’s up to you how you complete the story. That’s the bit that belongs to you.
Nice! Any new techniques used?
Yes, there are. A new thinning compound has produced some spectacular detailing in the centre part. A quick glance through the close-up photos reveals textures and shapes I’ve not created before.
I had an idea about pushing the drama to the middle and had some sketches of what I wanted the shapes to look like. But I have to say it’s a whole lot better than I saw in my head. Either way I’m loving the result and now I’ve got that figured out don’t be surprised to see it nudged in to one or two others as the years roll by.
I’ve also been very liberal with my smoothing tools. These are small plastic scrapers of varying sizes and shapes that allow me to literally scoop up paint and deposit it elsewhere.
This process has a limited lifespan as my paints will only allow me a few goes in any area before it turns a horrid sludge colour.
Can I live with it?
Of course you can as long as a piece of black and silver art is what you’re looking for. It will need a decent amount of light and personally speaking I would hang it vertically but landscape orientation is just fine as long as the black end isn’t near a bright light source (as it will reflect it like a mirror).
I can see this at the end of a long hallway or galleried landing, or in a stairwell with spotlights. It’s got a huge amount of gravity to it and it really does feel like it’s got some balls.
A perfect way to add some intensity to a forgotten space or some drama to an open plan living area – something where colour doesn’t need to be the main focus but the wow factor does. Box ticked then.
- Canvas: Belgian cotton medium weave; 11 0z
- Preparation: One coats of primer plus one additional skim coat
- Paints: Enamel paint (5 colours) made to my own recipe
- Frame: 44mm Museum graded floating frame with 8 tensioning corner wedges.
- Signed on the reverse (so you can hang it in any orientation)