Wednesday 27 March 2019


Transition - oil, oil pastel and cold wax on canvas 760 mm x 760 mm

Sometimes it is difficult to pick up and continue with a painting after leaving it for a while, as I discussed in my previous post. This was certainly the case with this abstract that was started last year and had remained untouched since the end of October. 

Sometimes paintings work and sometimes they don’t. Often the canvas will be destroyed - a few slashes with a craft knife can be very satisfying. If the canvas is in good condition and the paint surface smooth, I will recycle the support. I had a failed landscape which was ideal for recycling, making it ideal for this abstract.

17th October 2018. Some of these first shapes were suggested by photos of rocks. In this orientation the landscape element is obvious. This was not what I wanted so I flipped the canvas.

Later the same day...

23rd October 2018

24th October 2018. This is where the painting was left until the beginning of February.

After practicing the usual avoidance techniques i.e. do anything else other than the task in hand, and in my case this was working on two small still life paintings, I eventually took the canvas into the Studio and began. Using oil pastels and a looser approach, I added a few gestural lines. The curved shapes added a new element and improved the design. Oil pastels are a useful tool to introduce linear elements into a painting. 

I was reasonably satisfied with the painting at this stage but I felt that some areas were just too busy and too dark. So much, if not all, of abstract painting is subjective and intuitive so at times like this one has to work on how you feel. 

I felt that some quieter passages would be beneficial, since I think that “breathing space” in every painting is so necessary. I manipulated the image in Procreate - this is a useful way to try dramatic changes without compromising the actual painting. Then I applied those changes to the painting. 

Now I am happy and can call it “done”.