Abstract Acrylic Painting on 320gsm Handmade Rag Paper
Abstract Acrylic Painting on 320gsm Handmade Rag Paper: Detail
Abstract Acrylic Painting on 320gsm Handmade Rag Paper: Detail

‘Abstract art is art that does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality but instead use shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks to achieve its effect’

Tate Gallery

I’m really enjoying working with the brilliance and immediacy of acrylic paint. After using oil and cold wax for most of my recent large scale pieces the ability to create imagery so swiftly and spontaneously is a delight and a revelation. Complementary colour contrast is the guiding principle for this series of paintings and the influence of Cubism is clearly evident in the multiple facets and repetition of geometric shapes. I haven’t yet decided how far to push this study and there is always the ever-present danger of overcooking the various ingredients, only time will tell. Let me know your thoughts, I would love to hear them.

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.

‘Carnival’ 100 100 x 4 cm on Canvas

This painting is part of the geometric tradition of abstraction and is reminiscent of the ‘hard edge’ American abstract painters of the 50’s and 60’s. The colour is applied with a glazing and staining method using successive layers and washes, enhancing both depth and luminosity. Spatial qualities are carefully controlled with certain vertical columns alternately advancing and receding. The addition of iridescent gold paint contrasts directly with the blues, reds and purples of the surrounding space. In different lighting conditions, the metallic and reflective surfaces radiate light.

‘Carnival’
Detail
Detail

Working with acrylic is a very different experience from oils. Somehow, the colours are more saturated and intense. This piece is at a critical stage…I haven’t decided yet whether it is finished. We will see.

I tend to use materials in experimental ways, often going against traditional principles and recommendations. This particular painting uses a wide variety of tools and materials, some conventional, much less so. The list of media includes, oil, cold wax, bitumen, acrylic, chalk, pumice, tissue paper and card. The tools range from palette knives to barbecue skewers. In my next post, I will take you through the process from beginning to end.

‘Neu Wald’

This highly textured painting on a solid oak block has just been sold to a collector in Scotland. Oak has a very dense grain and provides a resilient surface for the cold wax process. A variety of tools can be used with confidence to create a range of natural textures and fine surface markings. Multiple layers of wax have been used to generate the illusion of depth and translucency.

‘Neu Wald’ (detail)