Wednesday 2 May 2012

Silver, Grey & Lime

When I start an abstract I need to begin with a something tangible - a sketch or a photographic reference. I look for inspiration all around me. Folds of fabric fascinated me in this instance. A student had the most marvellous scarf - green, shot with a gold sheen - soft and voluptuous. The folds and drapes sparked a series of studies.

The colour brief for this commission was similar to the previous abstract - silver, shades of grey but with sharp lime as an accent.

Silver, grey & Lime oil on canvas 900mm x 1200mm Carol Lee Beckx  ©2012

I received exciting news yesterday. This painting is the winner of the Eckersley's Creative Canvas Competition.

There is a sense of freedom working on a large canvas with a wide  brush using sweeping gestures to cover the canvas. I love the  physical action.

First strokes

There’s also no pressure when painting an abstract to make something “look” like something. But, if anything, there is more pressure because there is the need to make the painting work by using compositional elements and emotive content.

Sorry - the lighting in my studio was a little dodgy...and these were quick iPhone pics.

The enforced discipline of keeping the shapes spare and minimal is good. There’s always a temptation to keep preserving the “pretty” paint marks at the expense of the whole.

Almost there...

An artist whose work has given me inspiration is Gerhard Richter.  I found the book Red, Yellow, Blue by Helmut Friedel in my local library. (There’s so much to discover there.) I enjoy the fact that he refused to name or title the abstracts because he didn’t want to define them in terms of concrete objects.

As I reluctantly returned the Richter book to the library, I came across a heavyweight - in all meanings of the word. A large tome - 13.5 inches by 12 inches and 2.5 inches thick and SO heavy. It's not the sort of book you could read in bed. Helen Frankenthaler was a favourite of mine at art school so I know there's more inspiration in store for me.


  1. Hi Carol,
    Congratulations of the Eckersley's win, a well deserved one.
    I love your work, some of the oils are so luscious.
    Cheers Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon - thanks for stopping by, and for the compliments.