‘Golden Calf’ is an acrylic painting 114x85cms on canvas. The 8oz un primed canvas is stretched over a custom made 3cm deep wooden stretcher reinforced with steel corner braces. The Golden Calf is a biblical story which illustrates untruths, false promises and guarantees that could not be honoured. The story relates to an afterlife, an Eden, a place where we are told there are no sins, a place of happiness, innocence, where all questions are answered. An enlightened state of consciousness, a state of nirvana, which can exist at any time in history. The painting is a simple symbol or motif for ‘Eden’ being a place that is ‘now’, potentially within us all. The differences between what we are led to believe is happening inside any paradise such as Eden and what is actually occurring in the real world are seriously questionable. I believe it is better to celebrate our humanity and live life without indoctrination or reference to theological doublespeak, and that is more honest and something we can aspire to. My paintings have often referenced motifs and symbols and this painting is dominated by a fictitious symbol. I’d like to think of it as a symbol of something good.
I take inspiration from many different sources which might include historical and contemporary artists who demonstrate such a love for colour and light ie: The Impressionists, the Expressionists, John Hoyland, Barbara Rae , the Fauvists and the COBRA group continue to be so important to me.
I listen to music every day, especially when I’m working a painting. I listen to many different styles and genres. Miles Davis, John Coltrane etc, some ambient, some mainstream stuff and yes Bob Dylan (The Gates of Eden).
I work on custom made frame stretched 8oz un primed cotton canvas. The un primed 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’. I use text to invite in and suggest a way of looking at art work. The text doesn’t so much provide clues but hopefully invites the viewer to create their own understanding. 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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