Unstoppable Forces

Large red and black art in a kitchen

A large red, black and white painting with mushroom and silver hints

I’ve used red, black and white a number of times before but never like this. Funny though – the more mad you go the more care you need to take.
180cm x 160cm (71″ x 64″)


Big red painting in a modern kitchen diner
Unstoppable Forces red black and white painting
Grey and black paint with red highlights

What’s in a name?

Evidently rather a lot. Unstoppable Forces was a name that came before the painting as it happens (it’s normally the other way round). Such a dramatic and powerful combination of words needed a painting of equal significance.

And here it is. red black and white painting in a dining room by chairs

A real pile-driver of an artwork in my opinion. This red, black and white painting makes no apologies for anything and was not created to be subtle.

Having said that there’s an enormous amount of love that goes into this kind of painting. Often the more chaotic and crazy something looks the more care and attention it requires.

Creating an impact

Colour is always the most critical factor when I conceive a painting. Combinations are as endless and complex as there are stars in the sky so it’s important to get things right. For Unstoppable Forces I chose to use the best combination of them all – red, black and white.

A trio of tones that are perhaps more expressive and charismatic than any other. And whilst they all rely on each other for their success it is the red that’s the real star of the show.

It’s a very, very powerful colour and should be treated with great respect. However, even when used in large volumes, it doesn’t have to resemble a road traffic accident if it’s applied properly. That’s where the repeating loops come in to play.

They are the backbone of the painting but they’re also playful and constant. The addition of a mushroom tone diffuses the harshness of both the black and red and is a very welcome shot of warmth.

Size matters

Big is good. You can’t go wrong when you go big. Sure, you can buy some pretty appalling big paintings if you’re unlucky but generally speaking, as long as you listen to the little voice inside, you will only ever enhance your surroundings when you add a big-ass statement like this to it. Complex paint spatters on canvas

And so the paint applications are big too; helping increase the perception of scale. The graded background also helps shift dark to light and makes the painting feel a little taller than it really is; a clever little trick that’s critical on a powerful piece like this. Everything has its place.

Living with colour and form

It’s very easy to live with something as dominant as this, in fact it’s a lot easier than you think. I don’t have a magic wand to explain that but what I can say is that the problem with a lot of art I see these days is that it’s created to fit into interior colour schemes at the sacrifice of individuality or proper thought.

So perhaps its worth dispensing with the idea that something has to ‘go’ with your soft furnishings and just buy it because you like it?

After all, isn’t the reason you’ve just renovated or redecorated a sign that you need to renew and refresh? If it is then you need to do the same with your artwork. Seriously, you should come see my art gallery and see what I’ve got going on there – it’s bonkers and brilliant all at the same time.

And I get to refresh and renew every time I open a tin of paint; come and share that with me sometime.

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