Minimal colour palettes can often be tricky to use, especially if you’re trying to come up with an abstract. I’ve experimented with plenty that have become monotone and repetitive.
But that very act paves the way for great things sooner or later. Persistence is the key. And so it is with Piledriver that I’ve created a very large statement piece based on three colours. No huge areas of foreboding here – what this is is an unpredictable and weighty painting that sucks you in from wherever you view it.
There are areas of intensity as well as light. There are rivers and valleys and there are deep chasms and caves. You get textural conflicts between layers and a visceral assault as light hits it. And on that subject it’s very light hungry – it absolutely needs light and plenty of it.
Contrasts between dark and light exist all around us and I am constantly fascinated by these polar opposites. Where they meet is also a point for interest. In fact the large areas of black are not really such, they are a carefully blended range of alternative tones mixed into each other. Black within black within grey within gold; this is why it needs light – to highlight these amazing details.
Unusually I decided to paint directly onto the primed canvas and not use a base coat like I normally do. This has a number of interesting properties – one of which is to coarsen up the weave to allow more dense applications to be applied. As the weave is more open I can get more paint on.
Additionally I can also use this property to pre-soak the primed surface with chemicals that change the drying characteristics of the paints, essential when you’re looking to mix different effects on the same piece. Sounds odd but it’s remarkably effective.