An explosion of colour
It doesn’t matter whether you see and explosion or a birth or something altogether more interesting there’s certainly no ignoring this new starburst-like painting. I’ve done one or two in this kind of style over the years but never anything as complex or with as many colours in it.
In order to push my own limits I am always asking questions in my head about what I think is possible. This is my ideas factory – born from the constant need to ask questions about what I can and can’t do. Very often the only way to find out what works is to do it.
Bound for Glory is part of that ‘what if’ process. My colleague Adrian built me a wooden wigwam contraption to help me space out paint applications across multiple sessions-this is how I built up the colours to get the effects of an explosion.
It’s a complex procedure requiring some frantic split-second decision making but when it’s right it’s euphoric. I’ve had to throw away a huge amount of canvas and paint however as things often go terribly wrong. And I mean really wrong!
But out of the trial and error stage comes something you can be proud of and this is definitely one of them. I doubt I will paint like this again because the process and stress of doing five (over four months) has been an absolute nightmare.
Ticking the right boxes
In my opinion the painting fulfills on a number of levels. Firstly it’s quite earthy and elemental. By this I mean it has a very primordial quality to it; an explosion or the creation of a star in the universe is wondrous and spectacular to say the least. These are the things it reminds me of.
It also has the ability to add a dash of colour to a space where there would otherwise be none, making it perfect for a neutral colour scheme. But it does this without the worry of killing the space or flow of the room it hangs in. Much of that is down to the elements of white and black that ground the intensity of the colours that surround them.
It also ticks the brightness box. Very often I see spaces in need of light and life and this is exactly the kind of painting that can do just that.
Living with it
Having hung it in pride of place at my gallery for a week or so I can say with total confidence that this is one of the easiest paintings to live with that I’ve ever done. It may surprise you to hear that and I am trying not to base that on bias or because I like my own work.
No, that statement is founded upon the abundance of light and dark, the colours being perfectly balanced and not too overpowering and the ability it has to suck you in to a universe full of wonderful things. Not too over the top but just enough ‘wow’ to make you realise you still have a pulse.
- Canvas: Polyester 340gsm
- Preparation: One coats of primer, one additional skim coat
- Paints: Enamel paint (13 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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