‘THE MOTH AND THE FLAME’ is an acrylic and dye painting on unprimed canvas. It is 135x75cms in size, unframed and stretched over a wooden frame with steel corner braces. ‘The Moth and The Flame’ is part of a series of paintings inspired by a familiar location and in keeping with similar paintings made at this time, it focuses on memory, imagination and what is seen ‘in the moment’.
The reference to ‘The Moth and the Flame’ relates to way in which the moth is drawn to light. A manner which could be seen as deadly, or carelessly foolish perhaps. It also relates to taking risks, sometimes acting through instinct. The word moth was used in the 17th century to mean someone who was apt to be tempted by something that would lead to their downfall. I am drawn to painting, I do not question it, and nothing would diminish my urge, even though I know the flame is all consuming. When I paint the process has to be immediate. There has to be ‘risk’. There will always be ‘accident’ and ’incident’. Sometimes ‘careless’. Like the moth, I’m inspired by ‘light’ and I make my response instinctive.
In this painting, the compositional arrangement makes reference to the park landscape, around the lake, the foliage and the flowers. June and July has been very bright and very hot. The painting is a response to the light between foliage and the dense areas of shadow.
This painting, like many others of this period, is concerned with the related dynamics of areas of colour separated by distinct divisions. There are still areas of atmospheric and expressive colour which invite the eye into ‘frames’ or ‘windows’ within the overall architecture of the painting. There are clear reference points to Fauvism, (Henri Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain and Raoul Dufy) abstract expressionism, the semi-abstraction of Howard Hodgkin and the pure abstractions of John Hoyland and Gillian Ayres.
Acrylic paint and dyes on canvas