‘Daphnis and Chloe – Sleeping No More’ is an acrylic painting 75x75cms on canvas. It is development from a series of paintings based on the same theme. Like the others in this series the painting has been made as a memory of being on the Greek Island of Lesvos. In my experience one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. The paintings in this series try to capture the sense of this place through expressive use of colour, light, shadow and texture. ‘Daphnis and Chloe – Sleeping No More’ is based on the ancient story of two characters Daphnis and Chloe written by Longus and set on the island of Lesvos during the 2nd century AD. It is a love story. It is a story of young love beginning with the main characters being ‘exposed by birth’ and therefore condemned. The main characters endure many difficulties but eventually ‘find’ each other. The story was famously illustrated by Marc Chagall. Its style is rhetorical and pastoral. It is the inspiration behind this series of paintings together with fond memories of the climate, the glorious light, the sea …the pace of life on this beautiful island. The painting is also a personal stepping stone towards a more expressive and gestural manner of making artwork. I am continually inspired by modern and contemporary artists who demonstrate such a love for colour and light. The Impressionists, John Hoyland, Barbara Rae , the Fauvists and the COBRA group continue to be so important to me. I work on custom made frame stretched 8oz unprimed cotton canvas. The unprimed canvas allows dichlorotriazine dyes to saturate and bleed into the working area. I work over the dyed canvas using brushes, knives, cloths and squeegees to manage layers of acrylic paint. It is a continuous process of ‘correction’. At different stages I add crushed sea shells to the paint to create heavier surfaces. The paintings are built in layers over a period of time. The boundaries of what can be managed in a painting present a constant challenge to me and through a process of layering, cancellation and improvisation my intention is always to test such boundaries.
Acrylic paint, dyes and crushed sea shells
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