The one I almost didn’t make… Chroma 5 was the last set of tiles I assembled. I wasn’t sure that any of the tiles I had left belonged together to make a set, but after looking at them in various arrangements for weeks this set of 3 tiles finally found each other. If I’m ever unsure about work I find that leaving it somewhere conspicuous in my studio for a while, and seeing it out of the corner of my eye, is the best way to decide what to do with it. Chroma 5 has since proved to be very popular.
Today I have been back in my studio playing with pigments again and making new resin tiles. I’ve had a number of commissions as a result of the Chroma Utopia exhibition. Someone has requested three sets of tiles based on Chroma 5, and although the process makes it impossible to replicate accurately, at least I can aim to get the colours similar. Great to be able to make an experiment commercially viable!! The pigment colours can be picked to suit the client, as can the choice of plants for plant pigment tiles.
Day 10 – Floribunda No 1
This painting is the face of the Chroma Utopia show.
It’s a busy time for me and my artwork in Cardiff at the moment. Not only do I have the solo exhibition at gallery/ten, but today also saw the official opening of Cloughmore Health Centre in Splott; a fabulous building for which I designed the interior artworks.
I was commissioned by EMP Projects and Apollo Medical to produce designs for interior windows based on the industrial heritage of Splott, Cardiff, South Wales. The designs were painted in watercolour and then transferred to vinyl, using areas of opacity and transparency to add interest. It was a great challenge for me as it pushed me to find ways of adapting my layering techniques to create ‘functional’ public artworks.
The whole building in its entirety is a thing of beauty. From its eco credentials to the slate and oxidised steel exterior and the spacious, contemporary interior, it is indeed a design to be proud of.
Day 9 – Field 3
Every plant and every substance in the world contains its own unique pigment combinations. For Field 3 I extracted and released them from buttercup and buddleia plants, revealing the intrinsic fingerprints of colour particular to each.
It’s always a surprise to see the result of my experiments, especially when the pattern that appears is unexpected as this!
Day 8 – Gauze 2
A different Gauze painting, again on glass. I washed pigment onto the reverse before turning over to paint the image on the other side. The whole thing was then layered with resin and more pigment to create a sense of depth and distance, perhaps like peering through mist or a thin voile curtain.
Day 7 – Chroma 1
This is where it all began. Playing about with experiments in my studio I discovered the ‘fingerprints’ of pigments. Every dye and pigment has its own unique ‘pattern of colour’; or, as F. F. Runge, the 19th Century German analytical chemist would have put it, it forms its own ‘pattern picture for the friends of beauty’. Chroma 1 shows the brightness of pure colour set free from binder and substrate.