Silver and blue
These two colours together are simply majestic. I seldom get the opportunity to use them as the basis for a whole painting but with Over The Moon I have done just that.
However, they don’t exist on their own; they are joined by some rather wonderful additions in the shape of burgundy, gold, stone grey and white. These supporting colours may add a little warmth and serenity but it’s most definitely the blue and silver that steal the show.
The Moon connection
I am a big fan of cosmology. The universe, the solar system and how the physics of it work are a constant source of wonder and fascination for me. Inevitably that will have its influences on things closer to home as well as light years away. I use cosmology in my work a lot – this star inspired painting I sold in 2016 gives you an insight in to what I’m talking about.
So it’s with enormous delight that I gave myself a window to paint a canvas that is wholly inspired by our moon.
But please do remember that this is an abstract painting and should therefore have no immediate figurative hook to lure you in to thinking it is actually a depiction of the moon itself. Instead think of the inclusion of certain elements as suggestions for the subject matter rather than depicting it figuratively.
There are distinct parts of the painting that have a direct correlation to certain lunar features. Most obvious are the two opposing curves that meet then fall away again. I’m sure you don’t need a round of applause for figuring out that these represent the curve of the moon’s surface.
Moving on from these gentle shapes are the colours. We are all used to seeing our moon in different light – from night time to the Harvest Moon and from full moons to the day-time crescents. It’s amazing to see the tonal ranges of the lunar surface as light hits it from different angles and at different times. The inclusion of gold and burgundy are influenced by this, just as the beautiful metallic silver (and support from white and grey) helps convey what the moon is actually made of.
Techniques and detailing
On the face of it (pardon the pun and moon reference!) it’s just a series of curves and colours. But dig a little deeper and you begin to uncover all kinds of wonderful features and details; not unlike the actual surface of the moon.
I have taken care to add textures and details in to what looks like a relatively simple composition. A glance through the photos will prove my point.
Multiple techniques are at work here. Most noticeable is that of a drag and remove principle – something that requires the moving of paint in a single sweep right off the other side of the canvas. The majority of the paint you start with gets removed leaving you with only a trace of the original application. The trick is to keep repeating this to build up very thin layers.
It was something mastered by Gerhard Richter and has been widely adopted ever since. I love this technique because it suits my enamel paints brilliantly. When combined with a few select chemicals and a bit of patience you can create some truly beautiful paint forms. Look closer and you can spot some suggestions of valleys and craters (remember this is an abstraction though okay? Don’t mail me saying there aren’t any actual craters on it!)
As I mentioned at the start this is a gentle painting and one that doesn’t have to shout at you. it will blend in very happily almost anywhere and will never cause you problems. It’s inspired by our moon and features lots of different techniques and details – something that pulls you in as you spend time with it.
If an empty wall space is begging for something to give it some substance but you don’t want your freshly renovated space to be overcome with colour and madness than consider something mature and easy to live with as your next venture in to original art ownership.
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