Winds of Change

gold and black painting behind grey chair

A mid-sized gold and white painting with accents of green, yellow and raspberry

This wonderfully eccentric and enigmatic abstract feels oriental in its composition don’t you think? Well done if you spotted that.
150cm x 100cm (59″ x 39″)


painting like a Chinese New Year
landscape abstract art above console table
original gold abstract painting

A taste of the East

Back in 2010 I created a painting called Wu-Long (which translates as Dragon Dance in Chinese). This painting was inspired by the traditional dance that is performed in Chinese culture. It may come as no surprise then that Winds of Change is also inspired by a similar subject matter.

In fact it was a chance encounter during Chinese New Year that led me creating this painting. Not only were there dragons present on this particular evening of celebration but so too was a classically trained calligrapher who I had the privilege of spending time with.

The texts I saw being created that night were like nothing I’d ever seen before and in particular I was transfixed with how beautiful the process of applying ink to parchment was. All this input flying around has inevitably led to a series of works that carry influences from my notes on the night. With the exception of a few pieces of sculpture this is the first one out.

Adapting to what you have

Let me say that I have no skills for calligraphy and couldn’t get anywhere close if I tried, but the memories of that experience has evolved into my own interpretations of the theme. As a whole the painting is simply my adaptation of a joyous and overwhelming five hours spent in the company of some astonishing people.

I paint abstracts. That’s it. So bringing the sights and sounds of a Chinese New Year into (what is essentially) five painted strokes has taken quite a lot of practice on some smaller test canvases.

In fact, I have a new version of an enamel paint pouring technique at work here and I’ve only used it on this painting.

Colour choices

Gold is present all over the place these days but I chose to use it as a backdrop here because I keep seeing those waving cats everywhere! You know what I mean right? Actually they are called Maneki Neko (beckoning cat) and they represent good fortune for their owners.

The background is a gradient from black through to a light dusky gold at the top.

The critical colour choices belong to the top layers and that’s the main focus of what’s going on here. Raspberry and lime green form the main central parts whilst the use of  white is there to lighten everything up and is really more of a skeletal structure (think of the swirls of a dragon’s tail and the movement of dance).

For me though it’s the inclusion of melon yellow that catches my eye the most. It’s the bridge that spans the density of the black and the harshness of the white. It has warmth, happiness and prosperity about it.

What to do with this painting

I like it hanging in both portrait and landscape orientation and will be perfect wherever there is a white wall or some natural materials (like a wooden floor for example).

A stairwell or hallway is an ideal location as it doesn’t take too much to appreciate it and can be moved around quite freely and without your destination being hindered. It’s movement is bold but it’s very accommodating so it won’t put you off your dinner and it won’t slap your face.

It has just enough colour, just enough action and is just about the right size for big spaces and small ones.