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’
This painting is part of my ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ series. It is a mixed media, abstract work based on the city of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Cambridge is a world renowned university city and the recurring motifs of Gothic arches and ancient doorways provide a visual rhythm, reflecting both the passing of time and continuity. The textures and patina of well worn stone respond to sight and touch. At this time of year, shafts of diffused golden light illuminate walkways, paths and enclosed architectural spaces as you wander through the colleges and grounds. The river Cam flows through and across the city, below the ornate towers and spires, carrying new life and old memories.
‘Optical Mantra’ Canvas size: 80x80x2cm
This is a mixed media acrylic painting on canvas; one of a series of paintings to be shown at the Michaelhouse Centre in Cambridge at the ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ exhibition this November. I wanted to represent the city primarily through abstraction by using archetypal shapes, colours and textures that reflect aspects of the buildings and townscape. The composition plays alternately with illusionistic perspective and a flat ‘map like’ design, never quite allowing the eye to settle on a particular viewpoint or reading.