In all that I have ever painted and created it is this piece that has taken the longest amount of time to get right. What you can’t appreciate is how much minute detail there is in it.
I mean, I have spent weeks with the smallest of brushes and most exotic mixing agents I could find to produce some of the most amazing and intricate paint effects you’re ever likely to see – and all of this was created with a single shade of black and white.
Morpheus measures 184cm x 144 cm (6ft by 4ft 6) and is stretched over a 44mm hand-made seasoned timber frame.
Far from being random Morpheus is an expression of total control. Getting that delicate blend between white and black is not an easy thing to do. It could have turned out to be a black splodge of nothingness but thankfully I know what I’m doing so it didn’t. It’s all about balance for me.
This piece kind of wrestles on that ragged edge of catastrophe all the time. In certain concentrated areas of black there is an element of texturing within the paint, forming small yet striking circles that raise above the surface of the canvas – like a reverse moon crater. To do this requires patience and an intimate knowledge of how paint works.
The expressiveness of elementary colours like black and white are so good at showing the beauty of form and shape. If I could choose a piece to best represent me as an artist then this would be it without question.
Above all this is a statement of technical ability over emotion, which is so much harder to get right than something that is led by passion and desire. Because I worked on small areas at a time I was able to balance the whole painting – quite an achievement if I say so myself considering this is over six feet tall.
It is precisely because of the staggering complexity of this painting that I will never tackle anything like this again.