Celebrating tropical oceans
I had a plan in my head to use a particularly joyous aquamarine colour that had been sitting quietly on the shelf for some time. I’d considered all kinds of styles and complimentary colours but in the end it was the choices of gold and blue (with a little purple) that finally won me over.
The ocean connection is probably there by default – just by opening the tin I’m instantly transported off to a tropical beach with those crystal clear waters lapping at my feet. I have done a similar painting in the past called Atlantic Drift but that was way more restrained and really only used a very small palette of colours.
Foundations and layers
Everything needs to be built on solid foundations. Get this right and the rest can flourish around it. If we concentrate on the underpinnings for a moment I’m in familiar and safe territory here; blue and gold are a peach to work with.
I worked in some Pantone Process Blue and a couple of lighter shades to offset the green tone to the aquamarine colour. That works really well. The corners are predominantly metallic gold and into this I have woven the blues. All good so far.
The ‘oh shit!’ moment
Day three saw me tackle the top layers and applications. I started by blending an off-white and a mix of burgundy and purple enamel paint when I accidentally knocked over a tin of black paint on one of my painting shelves. In a vain effort to stop it from falling on to the canvas below I reacted with an octopus-like arm-waving routine that saved the can.
However, what I didn’t manage to stop was the tidal wave of black paint that was now making its way off the shelf and on to the painting underneath – paint that seemed to be cascading off in all directions.
Hastily I moved the canvas, instead of the paint (smart move), but by now my original plans had gone to shit. The only thing now was to come up with a way of keeping black in the painting and making it look like it was already there! In fact, I challenge you to notice where exactly the spillage occurred now that I’ve successfully completed the rescue mission.
As luck would have it it’s turned out better than my original plan. Funny how things like that can happen when you least expect it? Of course I take all the credit for using great skill and judgement in a time of crisis! Happily falling paint cans are not part of my normal creative process.
Get off the fence; it’s painful up there
No matter how I got to the finished piece I have to say that despite it being a little crazy in places it is also remarkably confident and reassuring. I can still feel the warmth of the Pacific Ocean on my feet even with all those dramatic twists and loops.
I can’t ever be a judge of your own personal taste because that’s something only you can feel – you’ll know instantly about the things you like and the things you don’t.
However, if you’re thinking of buying an abstract painting then consider these words: the more you challenge yourself the more rewarding your ownership experience will be. You should still stick with things that make you feel good for sure, but you don’t need to be safe and indecisive about the riskier things that unsettle you. They are exactly the challenges we need from time to time.
You’ve got one life; choose a side to jump to and embrace it.
- Canvas: Bespoke weave cotton duck 345gsm
- Preparation: Factory applied gesso primer plus one additional skim coat
- Paints: Enamel paint, 12 colours
- 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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