About the painting
Smoke and Mirrors is a large abstract painting created with a black and white colour palette that also features fleck of metallic copper and gold. The use of just two elemental colours like black and white means I have a whole plethora of tonal variations to choose from as I move paint around the canvas.
I can manipulate these two colours into any shade of grey I want and can choose a very nuanced and subtle blend or one that smacks you in the face. And that is the real joy of using just two paint colours – the ability to create new tones on an infinitely broad spectrum.
If you then add in a couple of metallic colours like gold and copper you can introduce another element to the party and then it gets even more interesting.
This is a painting that not only works from a distance but also ne that enthralls as you get in close. The sheer amount of detail – some on an almost microscopic level – is something you can never tire of. There are always parts of the canvas that reveal themselves when you least expect it. The power of monochrome is undeniable and is always something I enjoy exploring.
For me, the use of these colours is always enjoyed on a large expanse of fresh canvas. Then, on completion, you can let the enormity of the piece envelop you. And if you are blessed with a large open space somewhere or maybe a more intimate location like a dining room, then this painting is absolutely going to draw your eye from wherever you stand or it.
It’s captivating and exhilarating and is simply marvellous.
How it was done
One small six inch grout spreader is all I used but that simple tools belies the dexterity you require to wield volumes of paint into gentle and delicate twists and turns. I have practiced over many years to enable me to create the shapes and finish that you see in the photos. Sure, it’s not rocket science, but it definitely needs practice.
The result is an infinitely complex, immersive painting that will reward you every time you look at it. You don’t need a PhD to understand it and you don’t need work hard to enjoy it.