Reading the painting
I love to hear how paintings create different responses in different people. With this square red painting I have decided to use the same colour palette as I did in one called Helios; but instead of this being sun-inspired there are definite hints of bulls and Spain wandering around the composition.
But that doesn’t mean to say you have to attach any of those references to it – this is why I am constantly fascinated by how others interpret my work. You may see cosmic rays or an exploding volcano; you may imagine electricity flowing or a coronal mass ejection (a posh phrase for a solar flare).
Or you might see something completely different? I’ve used the same principles as a previous painting but interpreted them in a different way. I think it’s good to explore new ways of doing things.
It doesn’t matter how well I photograph my paintings I can never replicate the feeling of standing in front of them. When the textures are plentiful and dramatic and when the colours leap out of the canvas it can be a pretty full-on experience. But no matter how I try I cannot convey that on the screen of a tablet or smartphone.
So let me reassure you how beautifully executed this red painting is. As I have created it from multiple layering I am able to build depth to the parts I want to highlight. In turn these then catch and reflect light in so many interesting ways.
I really enjoy using multiple techniques on the same canvas. Sometimes I use certain ones in certain places because I know I can rely on them but in El Torro I have gone a little bit against that wisdom. Most noticeably would be the splash applications
I would historically put these on very early so that they get a chance to form some of the underpinning layers but here I have them place towards the top. It’s a risky strategy as the good stuff can quite easily get covered up – meaning you lose all the hard work and goodness of previous layers.
However, it’s worked really well and the effect is that they appear to float somewhere in the middle of the field of view. It’s a neat little technique I shall try again someday.
I have also used drag and remove layering, syringed paint rivers and some straight-from-the-tin pouring.
The finished painting
You can’t miss it that’s for sure! The red is powerful, the orange is intense and warm, the white sears through like the brightest parts of the sun and the contrasting darkness shapes the drama of the arcs and semi-circles.
You can’rt walk past this and not notice it. So wherever there is calm or there’s a need for an injection of life and energy then this could be for you. Don’t be scared – it won’t bite!
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