A square, minimal black and orange artwork
Keeping with the tradition of changing styles like I change underwear, this new painting is unlike any other I have done before. A dark and unfamiliar sequence of repeating patterns meets an abrupt orange wall that spills over into light and space.
Simple concept, interesting execution and as always, beautifully painted.
THE STORY BEHIND IT
This is an unusual painting in many ways.
It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything with regular blocks of colour and the first one I’ve done with a new technique for applying them. So it’s really a painting based on two processes that I’ve not attempted before. That theme of duplicity carries on to the obviousness of colour; black and white. Two of my favourite tones but now with a significant twist of orange to break them apart.
I have always liked orange and black but can find that on their own they become a little heavy and oppressive. In order to launch them out of the canvas and develop their own personality they need to be complimented with a medium tone and a light tone. So that’s why stone grey and white were used. Four simple colours in one very effective painting.
In its composition you can see that both black and white parts have been put together using regular, linear applications in small groups. The combination of these small groups form a singular mass that then produce the overall shape. I love playing with this almost fractal-like property where a shape is made up of smaller versions of the overall shape. OK, so it’s not that accurate but the principal is definitely in play.
I like the openness of the black in some parts and the dense collection in others; I like the stark contrast of orange as it marches defiantly between the two colours. I like the apparent regularity of paint which is actually anything but as you get closer. I like a great many things about this painting the longer I spend with it. It has an interesting contrast between matt and gloss finishes too; so as you move around it and watch the light change across the surface it opens up an additional quality. It’s impossible to show this in a photograph but take my word for it – it’s there.
Being square this can also be rotated in all four orientations (I sign my art on the reverse so that you can do that). It means you can find the way it works for you best. I’ve shown it in a couple of variations above just to highlight what I mean.
Ultimately it’s a very grown-up and sophisticated painting; partly because it doesn’t try too hard to get its point across and partly because of the use of regular shapes and a restrained colour scheme. It certainly won’t fight you for attention but will add a little solidity and maturity to the space it gets hung in.