What is an abstract Painting? What do you think of when you hear the word abstract? Does you conjour up images of Jackson Pollock,s drippy or Mark Rothko squares? Or do you imagine something closer to reality? Pablo Picaso’s cubism paintings perhaps? There’s no one size fits all with abstracts. You can have pictures that are just a little abstract. Based on reality, they look like something but they are still abstracts. There has been an attempt to use an existing object, scene or person to begin a process which has resulted in the painting. To splodges of paint, lines or blocks of colour. This is where I’ve settled, architectural abstracts. It suits me. One thing I’ve always found though. The best abstract paintings abide by a set of rules. It may be limiting the colour palette. Or dripping the paint or only using angular shapes. Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures applied the “Less is More” rule. There are many rules you can use. If you want abstracts to work, it’s not a case of just splashing colour on a canvas, throwing things together or carving as you fancy. So take your pick and make your choice. Spending time deciding what is […]
On the last day of the year, I’m sharing 12 paintings One for each month of 2016 to sum up the year. January – Not your usual Wedding Month. But I’ve always done my own thing, and, yes, I did get married in January. A good few years ago now though. This is one of my first creations completed in 2016. Read about it here. February – a painting destined for greatness Retrospectives are always interesting as things sometimes take on a significance that can be completely unexpected. Like this painting from February. First I wrote about its creation It certainly attracted a lot of attention, even then, but Lean on Me was destined for great things. It got me a place in “Landscape Artist of the Year” back in April, although I couldn’t talk about it until October. when Heat 1 was shown on Sky Arts Sadly I didn’t get any further but was happy to have got through in the first place. Here’s how I got on. March – the signs were there Another one which went onto great things was Ancient Signs which was one of 3 selected for the Society of Women Artist’s Summer exhibition at […]
Great Art needs a name. Imagine an artwork comprised of a lifesized skull made of platinum, with real teeth and encrusted with diamonds. You probably know the one I mean. Now think of its title “For the love of God” Think of Damian Hirst’s piece, and whatever you might think the artwork itself, the name provokes thought. It conjours up thoughts of decadence and futility. Of vanity, the ultimate vanity, Not only of leaving a beautiful corpse but a pretty skeleton too! I can’t claim to be a Damian Hirst fan myself but you have to admire his promotional skills. That art courts controversy is nothing new, but it’s that very controversy which catapults such artists into the media limelight, be it rightly or wrongly. Would calling it “Diamond skull” or, my personal favourite, “Glitterball” have evoked the same response? Quite possibly, but I think the nuances would have been very different. One suggests laziness whilst the other a crass indifference to death and mortality. It’s mocking in it’s implication. This is one piece where the title takes the artwork to a whole new level, as well as voicing the thoughts of many who view it for the first time. […]
Ever get an earworm? I’m convinced most come from some subconscious association. Like this week’s painting, when I was looking at 2 of my favourite London buildings. I often play with angles when I’m taking my reference photographs, and, in this one, the buildings seem to lean on each other. When I noticed the Cheesegrater supporting the Gherkin. I was reminded of this Bill Withers song. “Lean on Me, when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.” It’s a beautiful lyric, and one that often comes to my mind in tough situations. In fact the whole song is an anthem to the concept of mutual support. Since then I haven’t been able to think of a title I like more. Some details during the paintings stages. Here, the painting is complete and it’s ready to have all the masking fluid removed. . And the Inspiring Architecture Painting that resulted from that earworm looks like this… Next week I have some video for you. And, if you enjoy this post, then please share it? Save
Time for change. If you’ve been following me for any time, you’ll know I’ve been busy with exhibitions and open studios. As well as working on commissions and moving studio. I’ve also been experimenting with lino printing, paper clay and graffiti walls. It’s important to do these things and lots of fun. But it’s important to refocus on what you do best from time to time. For the Oxford College series I’m choosing images of the whole building. And it works for them… But I’ve been hankering to do something abstract and focus on architectural detail. After all the other stuff going on I decided it was time I got on and did it. So, here are some Contemporary Cloisters in Wolfson College Oxford. They’ll get the abstract treatment soon. Once I’ve masked everything… So what have you been neglecting lately?
Procrastination – king of my agenda. Well, it has this week. Studio time lacking and at times none existent. Other stuff taking over. Like travelling about the country delivering work. Rickmansworth and Manchester and today it’s Milton Keynes moving back into Fringe MK. Then the family things with school’s back this week. Despite that I have made some progress in pencil. It’s an inside…ish view of 30 St Mary’s Axe or Foster’s Gherkin as it’s colloquially known. Norman Foster’s award winning design and a personal favourite. It was done in stages. I read a useful tip. Make yourself do 10 minutes with permission to stop when you have. It’s amazing how much further you get once you actually start. I’m now off to beat procrastination and finish it! “Ten minutes” at a time… So why not try it yourself? Aim to do 10 minutes and see how much you actually get done. You’ll surprise yourself!