As each successive layer of cold wax dries, I build additional marks and surfaces with an assortment of palette knifes and tools, scraping back where a colour or tone is too dominant or suffocating. I didn’t know paint could be claustrophobic…but it can, intensely suffocating and airless…..sucking out the very life we try to capture. Knowing when a painting has arrived at a destination is never simple…all artists know this….its a difficult judgement to make and we can always be wrong. So many factors come into play, tension, harmony, contrast, compositional structure….this is especially true of work that is primarily abstract and does not need to conform to a particular code of realism. It is a question of ‘rightness’ ; knowledge, experience and technique will only take you so far…..then your’e on your own.
I am working on 2 cold wax oil paintings at the moment, side by side on 60 cm x 60 cm panels, trying to balance the conflicting demands of perspective and compositional tension whilst retaining the integrity of the picture plane…. it is of course an impossible and unrealistic task, but occasionally, out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of a resolution …….that’s the game we play.
The capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia, is encircled by stone walls shaped like a star with eleven heart-shaped bastions that once served as military fortification for the Venetians who were one in the long line of occupiers on the island. The old city is also bisected by the infamous “green line” making it the only divided capital in the world, the South side part of the Greek Republic of Cyprus and the EU, the North side the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and recognized as an autonomous region only by Turkey.
Near the ‘green line’ in the old city, abandoned and semi derelict, Greek Cypriot buildings once used as workshops…..decline and decay with a casual grace.
I make art because it is a natural thing for me to do. To create pictures is to be involved in a strange, wonderful and mysterious activity and the act of image making deepens the sense of mystery and fascination we all experience in our lives.
I have traveled widely and been inspired by many different places; the countries in which I have lived and worked are inevitably present in my work. They appear and reappear, even when my focus and attention seems to be elsewhere.
In my painting, I don’t attempt to describe a particular place or geographical location. I am more interested in personal experiences, the shapes, the colours and the textures that can be combined to create unexpected visual outcomes. I try to achieve a feeling of time passing, of change in the midst of permanence, and permanence in the midst of change.
The visible world is only the outer layer that confronts our eyes. When we begin to talk about seeing and perception, we quickly realise that what we see, is only a part of the story, just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t just see what is directly in front of us, we see in relation to ourselves, our past, and our experiences. If my paintings have an uncertain quality then I may have made some progress; nothing in our world stays the same, nothing is fixed.
This is where the real magic and power of art resides, in the alchemy of materials, memory, awareness and feeling. This is why painting is ultimately so rewarding.
I hope you will find qualities in my painting that give you pleasure and enjoyment.
Materials: Cold Wax Medium, Oil on Wood.
Size: 60 H x 60 W x 2 cm
This is an oil painting on a cradled wooden board using a cold wax medium. The cold wax process favors rapid execution and energetic marks or gestures, encouraging the creation of layers of translucent color, texture and impasto.
This theme is a continuing exploration of landscape, climate and sensory information translated. Archaeology……..because I am interested in what lies beneath the surface, the stratification of accumulated knowledge and experience. In this work, the conventions of pictorial space exert a gravitational pull………..inescapable.
Keywords: texture, oil painting, impasto, cold wax medium, abstraction, landscape