Black is good
It’s very good in fact. I like black. It helps us stay grounded, it’s what a lot of us wear and it’s critical in letting us appreciate lighter shades and tones. Black provokes all kinds of reactions in us – many being mood dependent. But as a basis to get expressive on it’s magnificent. I use it in a lot of my art although not many feature it in such quantity or depth.
Planting firm foundations
Every painting should have a solid platform on which to be created from. Some may be nothing more than blank, unpainted canvas but if that’s the plan then everything will be born from that starting point.
The bit where you start and the bit everything grows from is fundamental. It’s this foundation that becomes the platform on which the painting evolves. It’s the cornerstone of any decent artwork. Mine is full of twists and turns and would stand as a work of art in its own right.
But stopping there was never the plan. Next up is the all important addition of colour and where to put it.
Building up the layers
After having created that stunning background layer I need to turn my attention to what goes over the top of it. This is never an easy task when you have a background that’s as action-packed and dramatic as this one.
So I’ve opted for some relatively simple loops in Boom Town; ones that come in from one side only. This is an unusual step for me as I tend to lean towards a more balanced and contained approach. The result is a combination of silver, white, lime green and turquoise that rush out from one side and loop back again. They remind me of solar eruptions from the surface of the sun. Nice!
Complex yet simple
On the face of it the finished painting is a remarkably simple affair: dark behind, light in front. It’s only as you give it some of your valuable time that it begins to repay you in waves.
It’s detailing is really rather wonderful when you get up a little closer. Of note are the way in which I have blended paint colours at certain intersections, a neat little technique I’ve developed to help break up the monotony of big areas of single colour. Drop these in here and there and you create mini focal points over and above the others. (Notice the silver and white junction? Deliberately place in the centre of the painting? You’re welcome).
Oh and then there’s the way I get a huge thick layer of semi-cured paint to bend round the corner; honestly the more you look at this the more it keeps giving.
Can’t get on with it?
Don’t worry; paintings like these can be a little tricky to live with and love. That’s okay.
Art doesn’t mean liking things necessarily. Sometimes it’s good to be challenged and face new directions just because you can; it’s how we grow and discover new horizons. So next time you consider something to be awful or not to your liking ask yourself why.
You may just be surprised with the answer.
- Canvas: Belgian cotton medium weave; 11 0z
- Preparation: Two coats of primer, one additional skim coat
- Paints: Enamel paint (6 colours) made to my own recipe
- Frame: 44mm Museum graded floating frame with 8 tensioning corner wedges.
- Hand-stretched and stapled on the reverse
- Book a visit to my Gallery in the UK. Mail or call to arrange
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- If you like this painting here’s what to do next