Lost in Rio

‘Lost in Rio’; a large multi coloured abstract painting

I thought I’d try something new this time; something I’ve not done before.
I stretched a canvas before I painted it – that seldom happens.
Now I have the added bonus of gravity on my side! Hurrah!


One-off original painting
No prints or reproductions
Includes a Certificate of Authenticity & Valuation Certificate
Heat, UV and fade resistant


Price includes UK delivery, VAT and hanging


250cm x 140cm (99″ x 55″)
Can be hung on any substrate or surface (except glass) and in any orientation
Stands out 46mm from the wall

provided by


I came up with the concept for Lost in Rio about six months ago but have only recently got round to actually painting it. That’s the way it goes sometimes, there can be lengthy gaps between the ideas and the reality.

But that never dampens the spirit or enthusiasm for a new artwork. In fact it probably fuels it – such is the desire to get stuck in that on occasions I go crazy if I don’t give myself enough opportunity to paint. It happens a lot. Time is finite alas. So with this painting, and all it’s multitude of colours and shapes, I decided to take the unusual step of stretching a large piece of canvas around a frame BEFORE painting it. This is not normal for me as I always paint flat on the floor (paints normally need to be kept absolutely level to prevent them from running away).

However, I had a concept in my head that wanted to see what would happen if I applied paint on a slight angle from upright. Much of the desire to find out was promoted by the stickiness of an open tin if paint that had been accidentally left lidless for a week or so. After scraping off the thick skin that had formed on the top I noticed the viscosity had changed considerably. Even a slight separation between the resin and the pigment had occurred. Very unusual.

With this much thicker paint I experimented with a piece of canvas that I cut and stapled to the wall. What came out of that was the concept for Lost in Rio.

It was based on a simple premise: an evenly distributed sequence of repeating colours, one layer on top of another, and so on until I was happy. Executing it was not an easy thing though, partly because I don’t normally have to contend with the effects of gravity. In fact this has been a blessing as well as a nightmare. Frequent turns of the canvas were needed in order to stop the paint (even the thickest variants) from falling straight off again.

What I’m most pleased about (and what caused me the most work) is the distribution of colour. In fact the painting is made up of two distinct layers. The underpinning is one of washed out straight lines – using the entire palette. Over the top goes the less formal structures. So it’s kind of a mix of the two movements I guess. But definitely balancing colour evenly has been a challenge. Even harder when I have gravity to contend with. I need to control how far the paint applications move in order to get the balance I am looking for. Too high up or too far down and that will affect the next ones and so on down the line. It always seems to be the structured ones that are the most difficult to execute.

But with all that attention and concentration comes reward. And a generous one at that.

I’m sure you can make up your own mind about what it says to you or the things you see in it; for me it’s a Brazilian carnival, full of colours and flooded with a vibrant musical heartbeat. I love it because it’s big, it’s colourful and it makes me happy when I look at it. I’m not sure I can ask anything more from a piece of art than that.


This short film of mine celebrates the art of pouring paint.

Pouring paint from a pot


  • Canvas: Belgian cotton medium weave; 11 0z
  • Preparation: Two coats of Gesso primer, one additional skim coat
  • Paints: Enamel paint (12 colours) made to my own recipe
  • Frame: 44mm Museum graded floating frame with 8 tensioning corner wedges.
  • Hand-stretched and stapled on the reverse
  • Signed on the reverse (so you can hang it in any orientation)
Company No: 8427039 | © Swarez Modern Art Ltd 2020 | All rights reserved