This is a painting about music, rhythm and the rich aural textures and the timbre of sound. The chords and colours of the painting reflect my interest in the acoustic guitar, its tonal range and versatility. The curved and straight lines found in the shape and structure of the instrument are used to provide contrast and compositional harmony. Elements of Cubism are evident in the multi-faceted viewpoints and the intersection of foreground and background spaces.
‘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.
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.
‘Mercurial’ is a painting I have just completed for the ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ Exhibition; the composition, structure and style closely follows the other images in the series. I have retained the square format, recurring geometric shapes and warm tonality seen in previous works. The influence of American abstract expressionism is visible in the flatness and absence of overt representation; at the same time I have tried to convey a sense of the architectural qualities of the city of Cambridge. The painting is designed as a bridge between two different vantage points, an aerial or plan view of buildings, rivers and parks and a vertical ‘stacking’ of these interconnected and interchangeable motifs. The Cubists kaleidoscopic rendering of physical objects and space has liberated us all to see the world through our own eyes and intuition.
‘Mercurial’ Close up detail
River City (provisional)
100 x 100 x 3cm acrylic and oil paint on canvas
‘River City’ is just a holding name at the moment. I know approximately what I want to say, but haven’t quite found the combination of words that will shed some light on the painting. I know that for some artists, titles for paintings are not necessarily important; some artists even decide to number their work sequentially, particularly with abstract paintings.
For me, a title can add certain qualities to an image, they often act as a bridge between the artist and the viewer. Interestingly, a random title generator is available free to use (see link below) which can be a lot of fun if you want to create something entirely meaningless and bizarre. I don’t think ‘Secret Ode to Lonely St George’ quite has it………..I’ll keep working on it and let you know how it goes.
You can see this painting at the Michaelhouse Centre in Cambridge from November 7th – 19th
Detail from ‘River City’