The what and the how
Last Horizon is a large contemporary painting featuring a wealth of vibrant colours. It comprises red, purple, pink, blue, gold, lime green and a touch of sunset yellow. I guess it probably has others too but I’ve lost count to be honest!
It has an uplifting quality about it that I really enjoy and one that never ceases to engage me and pull me in. I think this is a crucial part of any abstract painting – its ability to draw you in to the story and let you finish it off for yourself.
The painting is created from a series of lines (or are they stripes?). Whatever you choose to label them as you certainly can’t escape the fact that it’s a stunning combination of colours arranged in a very balanced and reassuring way. There’s just enough of everything to make this a breeze to live with but still get excited by each time you walk past it.
Some of my favourite parts are where the metallic copper appears. Being a different blend and consistency to all the others it sits at the dense end of the paint spectrum and provides a wonderful contrast, not only in terms of texture, but also in light refraction. It places it feels like a cascade of caramel oozing down the canvas.
Now, for what may appear to be a very simple painting at first glance, this is actually a surprisingly complex and engaging piece. A quick glance at the close up shots will reveal very subtle blending between colours as they shoot across the canvas. These unstoppable forces suddenly deviate off course in a few places and this was a result of the way the painting was created – on an inclined table where the paint was allowed to find its own way down the face of the canvas.
Breaking the rules
The stripes appear uniform from a distance but a closer inspection reveals a world full of wanton disregard for rules and the forces of gravity. This effect was entirely deliberate and is a result of the amount of incline on the bale to which it was secured. This is down to a great many variables like flow rates, paint volumes, pour speed and so on.
And these are some of the reasons why this can never be replicated. There are simply too many critical factors that only existed at the time of painting that have governed how the final piece looks.
Being able to set all that up again precisely is, let’s be honest here, impossible. And I am fine with that because it means that each time I attempt something like this it will be different and unique. Just as it should be.