This is one of the longest paintings I have ever done. I think it can be harder to paint onto a long thin canvas than it is onto a rectangular one – especially for me as I tend to paint using a very balanced style. Painting one side of a piece to look like the other is difficult. The flow, colours, gestures, applications and shapes should be equally weighted so as not to take your eye into one particular place. I am always disappointed in paintings that keep your eye focused on one part of it as it stops you from seeing the rest of it for what it is. With a linear form a painting is easier to digest and you begin to relax and let your intuition take over and form meaning from what you see. Festival is a great example of this principle in action.

The picture above shows the whole painting from end to end. Despite the heavy use of paint and the free flowing drips and runs there is a great even tone to it. It’s not hard work looking from left to right. I used a mixture of enamels and acrylics in this painting. I didn’t want to be too precious about using fine brushes or accurate technical skill – instead I opted for a very raw, almost urban, method of applying paint. Keeping the enamel more liquid than I normally do helped me to get the right dripping consistency to some of the earlier, more deep brushwork that you can see underneath many of the later applications

There is not the level of detail in this painting that I normally put into my work – that doesn’t mean it is any less appealing. This act was deliberate because of the length of the canvas. It is painted to work at a distance primarily because that’s how you can best connect with it. If you want to see intricate brush work then visit the National Portrait Gallery, if you want a free, joyous expression of form and colour then carry on reading.

This particular piece measures 3000mm x 600mm x 45mm and was painted onto 11oz triple primed canvas and stretched over a kiln-dried hand made hardwood frame. It was painted in eleven shades of oil based enamel and water based acrylic paint.
Festival is ready to hang.

Complete with a signed Certificate of Authenticity from the artist.

Leave a Reply