Blue, blue, blue
It’s a magnificent colour isn’t it? I love it and use it as often as I can. I’ve found out over the years that it’s a colour that needs to be handled with great respect. It also benefits from having the right colours to complement it and show it off to its full tonal range. Sometimes it doesn’t need much but in other instances it provides the backdrop for some sensational ideas and thoughts.
And that’s a good place to pick up the story of Out of the Blue.
Waves, reefs and other tropical goodness
No prizes for guessing where the inspiration came from then? Like many paintings I create it’s influenced by the world around me even though it’s entirely abstract in its delivery.
I am fascinated by the Great Barrier Reef and tropical atolls. How they were formed, their complex ecosystems and the incredible visual stimulation they provide. After thinking carefully about how I could get this down onto canvas I came up with Out of the Blue. And I’m very happy with the outcome and really pleased with my own interpretation of the theme.
Moving back and forth
The reason why I think this piece of blue modern art works so well is the inclusion of motion and movement I was so anxious to get across. Oceanic systems are always in a constant state of change so it was important to reflect this in the final piece. I hope you can feel the ebb and flow of ocean currents as you look across it.
I also think it’s very atmospheric too. Perhaps you get the feeling of blue skies and flowers? Maybe even a jungle full of parrots (as a member of my focus group told me). It really shouldn’t ever be limited to any one subject matter.
Just because I was influenced by something specific doesn’t mean you have to have the same reactions though. That’s the great thing about the properly thought out abstracts – they keep on giving long after their story is told.
A few notes on the techniques used
The base layer (or background if you prefer) is a work of art in itself. In fact it is the work of several independently applied layers fused together over a number of weeks.
I use a series of techniques that allow me to keep my paints liquid for some considerable time – this means I can revisit parts and rework them whenever I want to.
This is necessary as I cannot bend over or kneel on the floor for more than an hour at a time – so I have to be able to return back to the same place (on another session) without worrying about the paints going hard.
It’s a very clever process and is fundamental to getting these very detailed and involved backgrounds. With this technique I can make anything look seamless.
Then there’s all those fantastic loops and swoops over the top. All carefully applied with different thinning agents so that I can control how far they go and how far they spread.
- Canvas: Belgian cotton medium weave; 14 0z
- Preparation: One coat of primer, two additional skim coats
- Paints: Enamel paint (15 colours) made to my own recipe
- Frame: 44mm Museum graded floating frame with 8 tensioning corner wedges.
- Hand-stretched and stapled on the reverse
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