A large red, black and gold abstract painting

Giant swirls of black, meandering rivers of red and a thousand tonal changes.
This unusual artwork is intensely fascinating and a real room stealer.


It’s easy to see why these colour combinations work so well. Red, black, white and gold – elemental colours that promote a wide range of feelings and emotional  reactions. And in today’s era of minimal remodelling there’s a growing desire to accent all those clean lines with something that shouts from the rooftops.

As its name might suggest, Two Smoking Barrels is a full-on assault on the classic colour palette. Although, as you can see from some of the more detailed photographs, I haven’t exactly stuck to a regimented set of layers, shapes or tonal blends. I’ve several variations of red, three different blacks, two golds and a huge array of greys and smokey hues and they are woven into all kinds of unusual shapes and twists.

It’s tricky to offer any kind of purposeful narrative to the painting without sounding like some pompous idiot so I should probably stick to the facts. It’s big, it’s intense and it will need light. Having said that I have shown it to a client in their own home and it looks wonderful on a white wall – but it does need a strong source of light, I cannot stress that enough. But despite all the heaviness of the black it remains a remarkably confident and assured piece of art.

Much of that is the allowance of negative (white) space that surrounds the whirling melee in the centre. This painting needs its own room to breathe and the emptiness of white helps it to do just that. It’s also a crazy mix of textures and layers and in particular the black is very heavily built up of small layers to give it that weighted finality I was looking for – like some deep chasm or abyss.

Anyway, it’s good to not hold back sometimes and let it all hang out.

And between you and I I reckon that the last picture in the gallery below looks like the head of Jesus.