Big art called Reach for the Skies

Large abstract art called Reach for the Skies

Creating the layout and developing the visuals

This is perhaps the most critical part of all my work. It’s the point at which a painting is won or lost – the composition. What it looks like has to be aesthetically pleasing and fit the brief in my head. I need to have a plan otherwise I cannot get close to achieving what I set out to do. Sounds obvious but I never leave things as important as this to chance.

So I have built up areas of colour and texture and linked everything together with those huge twists and turns of white and black. I see these as vapour trails (they were created with that in mind) but you may see them as something else; remember this is an abstract so it only suggests the subject matter).

What I think was important was to create movement and make the whole thing as dramatic as I could. I chose to focus on that rather than some of the other emotional reactions I have to this event; I’m sure you know what I mean by that. I really can hear the planes screaming through the sky when I look at it.

Placing and hanging the painting

Personally speaking I would prefer to hang this in portrait rather than landscape but it works either way to be honest. I’ve shown some examples in the photos to illustrate my point. It’s quite a tall painting and feels more dramatic hung upright.

A double-height stairwell or entrance hall is going to be totally transformed with this big contemporary painting. I think open plan is going to be what’s needed to get the best from it. Thankfully it doesn’t need too much light although a pair of spotlights will help light up the gold at night; I would always recommend that for any of my paintings.

Bandits at 8 o’clock move in behind us, ten ME-109’s out of the sun.
Ascending and turning our Spitfires to face them,
Heading straight for them I press down my guns.

Aces High by Iron Maiden