Dining room with a large black and white painting

The runaway reindeer

Savage Lands is most definitely not a man chasing a reindeer through the snow. However, what I love about this particular piece of feedback is that it very obviously created a specific reaction inside someone’s head and that’s a wonderful thing.

This is exactly what an abstract painting should do: it should make you think and make you react. If it doesn’t do that for you then walk away. For the record the reindeer wasn’t part of the original plan but I’m still enormously pleased someone told me that. It makes me smile.

Using black with blue

Black and blue are two colours I like to work with an awful lot. I’ve been having some time with these colours recently and have been looking at new ways to use and interpret them.

These colours are very suited to techniques that allow them to wander off in all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes. I tend to steer away from big blocks of black and blue as I find them way too oppressive in the wrong ratios. It’s much better to use them sparingly and with as much lightness around them as you can – it really does help them to breathe. Savage Lands by Swarez

Creating the fluid look

Rivers of paint are reasonably straightforward to apply – line up a dozen syringes and start squeezing, one colour at a time. The difficult bit is getting them to stay where you place them and making them sit happily with their neigbours.

This requires patience and time. Furthermore you also require an amount of forward thinking because you have to have a clear understanding of what the finished piece should look like, so that you know which bits of the canvas to cover and which bits to leave empty.

Less is more (more or less)

So how, exactly, do you know how much canvas to fill? People ask me about this all the time. I think it’s an impossible question to answer as it depends on what it is you’re trying to do in the first place. Hopefully I’ve got it about right but I guess you’ll have your own opinion about that.

For Savage Lands it was always about freedom of movement and showing off that gorgeously dense black. The accent colours and shades are only there to support that.

But they do that fantastically well. There are three blues plus silver and gold – each one having their own significance and right to be in the painting. And though this is merely my own opinion, I feel that black on it’s own just doesn’t get the job done. I need to have something to help you notice the main thing. That’s what the accent colours do.

Give your living room a kick

This painting works on a number of levels but I think the main one because of is its size. Savage Lands’ ability to command attention is remarkable but it doesn’t get angry or bolshy with it. It will bring a space together and lift the room it occupies.

Additionally it could be equally at home in a dining room or stairwell. In fact as long as there’s open space it could almost fit anywhere and with virtually any colour scheme.

In conclusion I would say that this painting has drama, detail and intrigue. You can feel it’s lightness as well as its presence and it is beautifully painted and finished.