Why I painted it
There’s something very graceful about this new abstract painting of mine. In fact I would even suggest it’s calm, relaxing and maybe even a little contemplative.
Moods are an unusual thing for us humans. The way we feel often reflects the influences and situations we experience around us.
So in a world where we seem to be endlessly connected to other people it comes as a welcome change to grab some precious moments of stillness and reflection. That’s exactly what I want you to get from this; a natural stop point. Something to slow you down and let you breathe out once in a while.
Let’s imagine you’re sat in front of Hemispheres for a moment.
An instant glance around it may conjour feelings of being in clouds or standing on the horizon as the sun is setting. There’s probably an infinite number of suggestive reactions to the painting but I can definitely tell you that the sky was a huge factor in my desire to paint it.
I love the sky. I don’t need to go on and on about it here – you’ll have your own memories of shimmering sunsets and beautifully coloured skies.
My challenge is to capture how that makes you feel. For me it’s warmth and wonder. And for something that can appear flat and featureless it’s a remarkably complex system; it’s just one reason why, from the outside, the painting looks like a few lines blended together, but on closer inspection is peppered with a million tiny details.
Even the broad band of blue across the centre is made up from five individual shade variations. Spikes, bands, dots, whisps, reflections, absorptions and of course there had to be a setting sun in there too. I can’t ever really think of the sky without the sun.
On a mildly geeky note you may also like to know that the lines bend ever so slightly – this is my interpretation of the curvature of the earth. It’s very small but it’s there.
New tools and techniques then?
Yes. The eight colours in this piece are blended using a new dragging technique I’ve been working on recently. It’s the use of an adjustable pressure chamber (via a sprung-loaded wheel-system and a hand pump) that allows me to be explicit on how hard I press the paint into the surface of the canvas. That has a massive impact on what the paint actually does.
Practice has shown me that using different pressures gives me an almost endless amount of control over what I can blend. This is how I’ve created some of the detailed shapes that feature along the seemingly straight, uninterrupted lines. And bizarrely the more you actually look at the painting the more detail you see. I’ve not felt that way about one of my artworks before so it must be down to the new tool that we have developed and the way I’m choosing to use it. It’s always good to come up with new ways to apply paint.
As in most of my work there are always elements of light and dark. In Hemispheres that’s also true. Consider the light and airy aqua at the top edge in contrast to the blues and purples and pinks. You notice both because both are there. I’ve mentioned this principle of opposites in other paintings. I guess what I really love about this painting is the fact that it’s a little different to most of the others in that it doesn’t shout at you. It’s not meant to either.
I wanted to find a way to express a particular subject matter (the sky) in a soothing and ephemeral way and in a palette of colour that makes you feel like you’re cradled in the softest of breezes as you float above the earth at 40,000 feet. And that’s most definitely WITHOUT an aeroplane!
GET IN TOUCH
Swarez Modern Art, Upper A1 Lightpill Mill, Bath Road Trading Estate, Stroud, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. GL5 3QF.
Mobile: (+44) 7722 101012
Landline: (+44) 1453 299725