About the paintings on this website

I make Color-field paintings, there is a lot of Newman, Still and Rothko going on in them; but the treatment is pointillism and the application is Pollock - more on that in a bit.

 

I was making figurative work before I moved to China in 2009, abstraction seemed the only logical progression for my work there.

China and Taiwan ( where I lived for seven years from 2011 ), city life, are very busy, noisy, hustle and bustle places. Asia is a bit information overload on the senses. So the paintings are a reaction to that environment. I made the paintings to create a quiet space within that environment- for myself.

 

I was listening to lots of ambient music back then, sometimes just a single chord drone sound, I think that had an effect on what I made; quiet, empty paintings.

 

I was painting stripes in China, bright stripes ( influence of the neon nights ). Taiwan’s environment changed things. It's very, very humid there, 84 % is average, 90% + humidity is not unusual. All that water in the air really takes a toll on concrete and metal.  The dust particles created from the crumbling surfaces of these corroding materials, and marks and splatters of spray from spray can-ed graffiti and the deterioration of that paint,: I really wanted to get some of that in my work, those things became the focus for texture in the paintings.


 

 Instability of form; the collapse and disintegration of mass.  Billions of particles coming together to create form or the form breaking down into millions of particles, that's what the paintings are, or at least that's kind of the ideas behind the work; something coming together, or something beginning to break down. Elusive I suppose, not fully formed, like trying to grasp something, but it's too vague. 

Actually, that was kind of the starting point. I was thinking about what to paint but the ideas in my head were too vague, not fully formed in my mind's eye, so in the end I thought, well, why not do that, why not just paint the not fully formed thing; that was the beginning. Then walking around  Taiwan and being really taken by all this corroding matter and thinking, ‘how can I use that, that really works for expressing the ideas in  my head?’ That was really the starting point, so then it was just thinking about how to create all that dust like effect, that's where the pointillism came in, but I was not going to stand there dotting with a brush, I needed to find a way to speed up the process.

 

The paintings are made by placing stretched canvas on the floor.  A brush is loaded with paint and then tapped gently ( I tap the brush with the handle of an old screwdriver) above the canvas to give a spray effect; the surface becomes made up of small dots and splashes of paint; giving a little surface texture.  Layers of paint (each hue applied in a number of varying tones - dark to light or light to dark )  are applied one layer at a time; wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry depending on texture and visual effect desired.