Using black and gold
Not too long back I painted a canvas called Terraformer which was hewn from the same black and gold paints as this one.
However, as I have such a low attention span, I am always tasking myself with reinventing the wheel and, as such, I seek to reinterpret the same paints in to different forms. I do this a lot; I am always questioning the next thing and the next thing after that. That’s healthy, it’s where the good stuff comes from.
So for Crossfire Hurricane I am again using black and gold as my primary colours but choosing to fuse it with some new accents and some curious chemical additives.
Adding in the highlights
Black is the most noticeable part of this painting and something I like to call the ‘hook’. I think every painting should have something you tend to notice before anything else. That can be a colour or a shape (or a combination of the two) and be the thing that pulls all the other components together.
Anyway, here I think it’s the black shape that’s trying to escape from the centre. It’s held back by some rather energetic gold paint that precariously balances on that edge between form and chaos. It’s beautiful too – shimmering in the light from all kinds of angles; something that’s perhaps a little unexpected on a painting of this density and depth.
These two colours exist in such spectacular form thanks to the supporting accent colours of stone grey and white. These are the highlights that give the primaries a chance to show what they are capable of. Without them it’s a bunch of black and gold paint and not much else. With them and it’s packed full of depth, intrigue and an intense gravitational pull.
Creating the details
The overall look and feel of the painting is pretty constant until you begin to move in towards it. It’s only then that you start to appreciate the astonishing level of detail I have given it.
Okay, this isn’t about bragging rights and I get that, but it genuinely has some insane detailing that you’ll probably need a magnifying glass for. The textures are gorgeous but it’s the formation of tiny cells, straight lines, rivers, flows and canyons that really mark this out as being a bit special.
Some of this is chemically induced but much of it is piped in by hand with the use of needles and syringes. A little chemical magic always helps of course but there’s no getting away from manual labour on a painting like this. The paint has to be in the right place otherwise it all turns sour. And that needs patience, time and a steady hand.
Where you should hang it
No PhD in interior design needed here thankfully – you’ll need a reasonably large space, some neutral colours, a drop of white somewhere (walls or soft furnishings), some stone maybe and perhaps even a suggestion of chrome, aluminium or stainless steel? (I could mention gold also).
Anything fairly neutral is good but so too is a crazy accent colour like a purple. The absolute beauty of this painting is that it will go almost anywhere. The only thing I would avoid is a space bereft of natural light.
So a poorly lit stairwell or a dark recess is going to get even darker without the aid of some artificial light. It’s not difficult to place but as with anything considered like this, some care an attention is required to get the best out of it.
This is one reason why I come out to see you in your own home – it absolutely has to be right doesn’t it? Good, glad we agree on that then.
Don’t be scared about embracing a painting with some substance behind it. Life isn’t always about doing what everyone else is and it certainly shouldn’t be about playing it safe. Did you get to where you are today by doing everything you’re told to do? No, I didn’t think so.
Good for you. Break the damn rules now and again. To hell with everything else.
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