The what and the how
Tropical Thunder is a large contemporary painting featuring a wealth of beautiful colours – with more than a little inspiration from memories of topical lagoons and beaches.
This was created in one of my brilliant live stream broadcasts and featured a brand new kind of technique – one that involved lifting and tilting to canvas in the air repeatedly. You should watch it, it’s quite the spectacle.
The beating heart of this original painting is the orange. It carries all the life and energy throughout the whole piece and adds that crucial ray of sunlight that everyone wants to see. It has also had some profound effects on the paints that sit on top and below it.
It’s this interaction of paint layers that gives the painting such a unique place among my work. Now, I am very well practiced at layering paint, but that’s normally not done with me lifting the canvas up to head height and back down again.
So by its very nature this painting has layers that are constantly interacting with each other because of gravity. I am literally forcing paint to move over and over itself until I have all the colours and basic forms I require.
And what forms they are! A glance at the close up photos proves just that. There are some astonishing effects going on and in particular where paint is either very thinned down or has been moved over other paint repeatedly.
Textures and details
Then there are the textures. It’s impossible to show those with a camera, despite trying my hardest. It is the action of standing in front of it that reveals the true depth and range of the painting finishes. Even I am taken a aback and I painted it!
But it’s the colours that really take my breath away. We have already mentioned the orange but consider also the piercing lime green that is beautifully broken up by metallic gold.
Then there’s the deep aqua blue that brings the warmth of the oceans with it. And at every stage the painting is warm and organic. It’s exciting yet tranquil, fresh yet familiar. I love the way it ticks so many boxes at the same time.