So, how much do I like this artwork?
A lot. I love this black and white abstract painting. And for many different reasons. Firstly I have to mention the colours. Now whilst you may have already realised how much I like bright, happy colours I also have this fascination with the monochromatic scale (black and white).
It’s the extremes of these two colours that makes me want to explore their capabilities. I like reinventing ideas and doing things I’ve not done before. However, the addition of a few carefully chosen tertiary colours (in this instance it’s metallic gold and silver and a dash of cream) the painting takes on a new and more dynamic personality.
These colours add a little warmth and approachability. And you may have guessed already that I am utterly fascinated by light and dark. Oh and a quick mention about the gold – you can probably see (picture 8 shows it well) that I’ve achieved a bubbling effect inside the paint. In fact this is a chemical splitting process that requires each small droplet to be added with a needle and syringe, one small drop at a time. Neat right? Yeah I thought so too.
How I painted it
The base layer was painted over three sessions where I blended all the element colours together using a wool-blotting technique to achieve the hairline strokes you can see in the close-up photos. The base layer is a mixture of varying paint thicknesses and has some very interesting blends of gloss and matt finishes.
On the uppermost layers there’s all kinds of techniques going on. Pour, splash, drip, drop, drag, scoop and some piping and squeezing. I’ve realised that if you’re going to create unusual things you need to think about unusual ways to create them. This, in turn, helps in the execution and delivery of something new. If I stick to using brushes then I become limited with what I can do with them, no matter how hard I try to come up with something new.
And whether this appeals to you or not it’s always got that slice of uniqueness about it. This is because of the unique way I paint. I have learned that uniqueness is as much to do with how you paint as it is to what you paint.
Will it fit into your life?
Ah yes, the almost unanswerable question. Well, if we take the assumption that you like it then we move in leaps and bounds towards a ‘yes’. But there’s another very interesting thing about this particular painting and the principle of using black, white and gold as a set of colours.
If you’ve got yourself a really nice space that’s recently been decorated then, chances are, you’ve got some neutral tones in it somewhere. Floor tiles, kitchen work tops, cupboards, white walls or steel framed bi-fold doors.
Have a look around at your carefully chosen and finely balanced neutrals. Great job. Well done. Happy days.
But the wall you’re staring at is probably crying out for a nice original artwork to be hung on it right? So instantly you think of something with a big dash of colour in it – something to lift or brighten the space. Just as I would too. But let’s consider a slightly different approach.
If you put a black, silver and white painting into a space that also has those same colours (or even creams and browns for that matter) then you would be forgiven for thinking that the art would never really be seen – or that you’ll always regret not choosing an artwork with some colour in it.
However, a painting like this one does a strange thing – it can actually replace the need for colour because of what it looks like. There’s enough madness and individuality to allow it to stand on its own merit but the colour will let it fit in with what you’ve done in your space already. It’s a bit of an illusion really. You can see that principle in action in the room setting photo above.
A slate grey sofa, white walls, grey fireplace and black tiles. Yet look how great the painting looks? Can you really imagine an orange and red one in there? Exactly. That’s my point.
You CAN put the same colours together in any space as long as they are formed into the right shapes and in the right ratios.
So you have the potential of adding to your existing set of neutrals but still exercise your desire to own, and adore, an original abstract painting. These are the little tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years advising clients on how to choose something they want to cherish for a lifetime but also live with every day.