Round and round
There are many great things about circles. The joy of something continuous is hard to resist, they are perfect in their seamless regularity and it means that you can manipulate them in all kinds of ways and know that things will still work out as you’d planned.
For a painting that means a limitless amount of ways to hang it and a thousand different points of view. It really can change every time you look at it if you want it too.
A big circular abstract painting
That’s exactly what this is – big. You can see how big in the photo of me standing next to it. At a shade over 6 feet (180cm) in diameter it’s got enough presence to fill almost any wall. It’s also very deep too, measuring in at 65mm front to back so this also has a very real depth to it that further enhances its capacious mass.
Before I mention what the painting is about it’s worth talking about it’s construction and finish. It’s 100% hand-made from two halves of 18mm MDF sheet. It’s got some heavy duty aluminium reinforcing bars and is covered in a very thick cotton canvas.
A quick glance at the photos here will show you how meticulously crafted this is. Every staple is beautifully aligned and the stretching of the canvas is a work of art in itself. I am very particular about quality. Everything has to be right before I even start painting.
What’s in the name?
Epsilon B is named after a planet in the Eridanus constellation. It’s reasonably close at only 10 light years away but with a mass greater than Jupiter I doubt any of us will be emigrating soon.
I hold the matters of physics and the universe with great interest so it’s inevitable that names like these will crop up in my work from time to time. Besides it makes a change from using the titles of music tracks.
Reading and enjoying the painting
This is a remarkably easy thing to do. Perhaps the most obvious thing to begin with is that giant swoosh of white and gold that comes out of the middle (seems like a suitable word to describe it).
It was never destined to cover the whole surface area or indeed span from one side to the other. Instead I wanted to unbalance things a little. No harm in that because in fact the painting is never unbalanced despite this.
The reason for that is the use of that beautiful aqua green that opposes the swoosh. If I’d have left that area dark I could have lost the painting altogether. In many ways this is very much about light and dark, if you want a more fundamental meaning to view it upon.
Colours and features
So there’s three shades of purple, metallic blue and that lush aqua green as the main focus colours. Then there are featured highlights of magenta, silver, gold, black and a cheeky dash of red. It’s worth noting how big a role that red gesture plays in the painting. It’s critical actually. And because of where I placed it it helps balance up the offset of the white swoosh. See? There’s a reason for everything.
Composition is a precarious thing; get it wrong and you notice immediately. Fortunately this is one thing you don’t need an art degree to realise (I don’t have one either). Your brain can soon work out when something doesn’t feel right. I like to think of the colours as being space-like whilst also being calming and grounded.
Epsilon B has been in my head for a couple of years but only recently have I had the opportunity and desire to paint it. This big circular abstract is rich in colour and textures, exquisitely crafted and put together and is a very definite slice of individualism that’s bound to create conversation wherever it finds its final home.
- Canvas: Cotton duck 400gsm
- Preparation: Three coats of primer, one additional skim coat
- Paints: Enamel paint (10 colours) made to my own recipe
- Frame: Hand-made circular frame (MDF) joined and braced with alloy bars
- Hand-stretched and stapled on the reverse
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