This is a large acrylic work exploring the possibility of creating the illusion of movement in painting. I am always in two minds about using acrylic and I often find myself switching to oil paints after a period of time. (Please note, you can make the change if the oil paint layer is applied after the acrylic, not the other way around). To be accurate, you can break the rules and add acrylic to an oil base but the results can be unpredictable and tend to make the top layer unstable. The secret for me is not to judge a work completed in acrylics by the same criteria as a painting completed in oils. I have never been able to replicate the natural qualities of oil paint in acrylics and the use of acrylic mediums will only take you so far. However, they are fantastic for making bold statements in colour.
The influence of the Italian Futurists can be seen in this work and I’m currently building translucent layers with the addition of a slow drying agent and various glazing mediums. Speed and confident execution are key in maintaining freshness and immediacy on this scale. I have literally been dancing in front of the canvas in a style reminiscent of Irish stepdance, albeit with my feet anchored to the ground and my arms flailing like a whirling dervish. Let’s see how it develops…those white areas are definitely too strident at the moment.
A day in the life of a large-scale abstract painting. This is the third day on this particular piece and I’m really enjoying the process of making marks. I’m trying to achieve a sense of energy, dynamism, and optimism. Sweeping arcs of translucent color seem to be the way forward using a broad range of arm and hand movements There is no room for hesitation or excessive deliberation in this approach. As a musician, I feel this approach has a great deal in common with the seamless transitions of ‘slide’ guitar.
Language is a wonderful invention, the moment we are presented with a new word, meanings shift and change, conjuring a world of ideas and thoughts. This painting is a patchwork of shapes inspired by the work of the Swiss artist Paul Klee. It uses geometric shapes, intense tonal contrast and iridescent highlights. There is a suggestion of land enclosures, rivers, lakes and isolated dwellings. There is also a strong sense of rhythm and chord like sequences of colour. It is designed to be warm, uplifting and meditative. I loved the process of creating it.
As Winter relentlessly approaches I return to the world of fully saturated colour to reprise the warmth and light of the sun. Colour applied with rollers offers liberation from the tyranny and constraint of a hand/brush-based approach to the manipulation of paint. The speed and flow associated with the use of rollers accelerate execution and thinking, qualities that are often missing from a carefully controlled ‘painterly’ style.