An abstract painting composed of black lines and areas of colour.
The framework of black acrylic lines was painted first, quite quickly and spontaneously. The coloured areas were added to this superstructure later after experimenting with their positions.
Linear and curved forms
Acrylic, paper, collage. 35cm x 25cm. 2022.
A work from a series of abstract acrylic painting featuring strongly linear black forms interacting with curving coloured forms.
Although the black linear elements are abstract their composition give the impression of a living entity such as an animal or a person – an effect that is heightened by the coloured curving forms, some of which hint at anatomical features.
Linear and curved forms
Acrylic, paper, collage. 35cm x 25cm. 2022.
An abstract acrylic painting featuring a strongly linear black form overlaid by curving coloured forms (some of which are collage while others are painted directly onto the paper).
Although the black linear elements are abstract they convey the impression of a dynamic animal form. This is heightened by the coloured curving forms, some of which hint at eyes or of other organic entities.
Shapes at the edge of perception
Papier mache, acrylic, card. 30cm x 21cm. 2021.
A wall hung piece in which a matte black hemisphere protrudes from a flat matte black surface. Due to the darkness of the surface the protruding hemisphere is quite hard to see (although in this photograph it is lit in a way that makes it reasonably visible). Even less obvious than the protruding hemisphere, the matte black circle at the centre of the metallic area is actually a hemispherical indentation. This indentation is very rarely noticed by observers.
An investigation into perception, optical illusion and expectation.
Stripes with smoke
Acrylic and gouache on paper 14cm x 14cm September 2020
An acrylic and gouache abstract painting composed of a square of brightly coloured stripes embedded within a smoke-like form in gouache. The coloured square is revealed through a hole in the paper on which the smoke is painted.
An acrylic abstract painting composed of two separate rectangular areas each with a stack of smaller coloured rectangles embedded within it. The rectangles in the upper area form a ladder while those in the lower area are more brightly coloured.
The amount of white paper on which the shapes are placed is important, as the forms seem to float on the surface rather than the surface simply being the base onto which the image is painted.
Yellow square blue diagonal
Acrylic on paper 8.5cm x 8.5cm on a 21cm X 29cm sheet. July 2020
An acrylic abstract of a yellow square on a black background, with a blue diagonal. The interior of the square is very dark grey, not black.
The paint is high viscosity acrylic, so it has a slight texture. The edges of the forms in the painting are generally sharp due to the use of masking film. A very small amount of bleed under the film was allowed in places (by not pressing the film too firmly onto the paper) so that a few imperfections could occur, thus preventing the forms being too clinically precise.
A Leaf Changes Colour in Autumn
Leaf, acrylic paint. September 2018
A maple leaf painted blue with red polka dots.
The leaf had fallen from the tree in autumn.
The inspiration for this work came partly from the fact that the leaves on the trees were changing colour in the autumn, prompting me to think of changing their colours in other ways.
In previous years I’ve painted acorns and suchlike in unusual colours.
Like a lot of my work, this work is involved interacting with and responding to the natural environment.
Black Square with Circle Removed
Gouache on paper. 30cm x 30cm. June 2018
Part of a series of abstract minimalist paintings of black squares with a circle missing from a corner, in this case along with the part of the square that is separated from the main body of the square by the circle.
This painting is a study of presence and absence. The black square has the quality of a solid, impactful entity while the white circle and top left corner give the impression of absence or negative space.
In other images the black square itself conveys a quality of negative space, suggesting a black void in the centre of the image.
Watercolour study: stability and uncertainty
Watercolour. 20cm x 20cm. 2018
A watercolour painting created as part of a series exploring the depiction of simple, precise geometric forms (such as the triangle here) using techniques that introduce imprecision to the geometry of the image.
A study of order, stability, uncertainty and potential disintegration.
Ink, gouache, digital, paper. 28 x 19cm. July 2018
This image, like many images that I’ve created recently (mid 2018) is a work that is largely generated from my imagination. Having said that, the original inspiration for the crescent-like form was a piece of toast crust.
The work contains definite ominous overtones. These are probably linked to the general atmosphere of foreboding that seems to permiate society at the moment (manifesting itself in such things as the election of Donald Trump in the USA and the swing of many European countries to the right). On top of this the phenomenon of global warming threatens to disrupt the earth’s entire ecosystem and to overturn all civilisation as we know it. Things have only just started to get bad.
The prime source of the foreboding in this work is indeed climate change and the fear of a devastated planet. The imaginary object in the image bears some resemblance to an organic form, possibly a part of an animal’s anatomy – perhaps a horn or a jawbone. The slender forms that protrude from what may be the teeth of a jawbone could possibly be legs, turning the form into something like an upturned crustacean. Whatever it is, the object has the feel of a decaying life-form. The object also has something of the feel of an unnatural artefact – perhaps a piece of rubble following the destruction of a building (with the slender forms representing metal rods in reinforced concrete).
Whatever it is, the object is abandoned or marooned on a featureless plain that probably represents the devastated earth following the ravages of climate change. The fact that the object looks very large is probably symbolic of the enormity of the threat that climate change represents.
Having said all that, the work was not created with any particular symbolism or meaning consciously in mind. I’ve worked backwards from the finished image to find its possible meaning. I’m sure that it also has meanings that are purely to do with the workings of my own brain.
A sketch of a gigantic stone eye resting on the ground. A mysterious pipe-like cylinder extends upwards from the eye. A similar eye in the distance shows the pipe-like structure extending unfeasibly high into the air.
The eye and pipe bring to mind some designs of stove.
Perhaps the image is influenced by Celebes by Max Ernst, in which the rotund form was derived from a Sudanese corn bin..
Black square, white circle, red circles
Gouache and watercolour, watercolour paper. 24cm x 21cm: July 2018
Ghis is a painting from a series that I’m working on that explores the dynamics of stability and instability.
The square in the image suggests stability, while the circles, with their lack of roundedness and their off-kilted positioning, suggest instability. The smoke effect adds to the sense of disequilibrium.
The painting has no specific right way up, which all helps with the feeling of precariousness that the work generates.
An abstract monochrome watercolour painting incorporating a plastic mixing palette.
The mixing palette is visible through a hole that is cut in the painting.
There’s a certain amount of humour in the use of the mixing palette in this work (to me at least). The palette is essentially a found object, of the type that was popular with the surrealists and other artists. This found object however was the actual palette that I used to hold the colour for the painting, so it was an incredibly convenient object to find. I just had to reach over and pick it up. I like the way that the palette isn’t obviously a palette, as an obvious palette in an artwork is a bit self-referential and solipsistic.
White Circle: May, 2018.
An abstract watercolour painting that plays with the tension between the absolute stable state of a circle and the chaotic state of the rest of the image.
The perforations along the edge of the paper are an integral component of the composition, being part of the disruptive tension in the work.