I’ve written much about lines and stripes recently and why I like them so much. Perhaps this is a very selfish painting in many respects because it’s what I like to paint. When I’m not working on commissions I break off to paint for myself; it’s vital I can do that so I can exercise my creative legs.
This particular incarnation of the lines series happens to be the first one that I got right, and by that I mean 100% flawlessly right. Up until this painting I had all kinds of problems with flow rates, curing streaks and uneven blocks. Working on a new concept with a material that doesn’t want to move or behave in the way you want it to creates all sorts of issues. When it goes wrong it’s depressing, but when it goes right it is truly liberating.
And far from being just a bunch of lines this original artwork is actually packed full of clever little details, especially where lines meet lines. Often the use of primary colours becomes overwhelming if they aren’t tempered by at least a few, less saturated colours. I’ve woven in some very tiny lines and gestures that help define the brighter colours but also tame them and stop them from grabbing you by the throat. The result is balanced and beautiful. And remember that I am using syringes as my main tools of application so I have to be incredibly steady-handed to make straight lines. I only use gravity in one or two areas.
In one orientation I get a spectacular sunset over a bay, turn it again and I see a thunder storm and rain. The beauty of not signing them on the front is that you can do anything you want with it – even turn it into a diamond shape.
I’m over the moon with it and I don’t really want to sell it but I can’t stay precious about these things all my life; gotta get a grip. If you Google ‘The 49th Parallel’ you can begin to see why I named it thus. It’s also the title of a cracking war film too.