One way into abstraction is to examine the details of a scene. I looked long and hard at my Still life Red and Green and decided that the bit I was most interested in, was the highlight on the apple. I blew this up and panted it as a painting in its own right. It is hot and fiery and is a long way from being recognisable as the highlight on an apple. It reminds me a little of a Rothko albeit painted in a brighter and happier key and less geometric.
Figure 1 Number 01 oil on 40 x 50 cm canvas board
I bought a new brush that is 50mm wide and I was experimenting with it to see how it went using only two colours dioxodine purple and cadmium yellow. It went like this;
Figure 2 Number 02 oil on 40 x 50 cm canvas board
I can’t really explain why but for some reason Easter was on my mind, I was listening to Cockney Rebel and Mr Raffles came on, which kind of nails it in the first two lines, but as well as that, the purple reminded me of the church. Purple is prevalent in Lent, the silky sheen of the priests garments and the purple mourning shrouds placed over the statues and it is also the brand colours for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.
The painting just went where it went, with me responding to what went before rather than where I wanted it to go. When this happens I get slightly scared that I am no longer in control, because being in control of my life is what I am about.
The easiest way to bring a painting back into control is to let it dry and then teach it who is in charge with another layer of paint. There is a strange beauty and rawness in this, a wildness that resists taming, let it be wild.