Gillian, L-B, Unfinished, 2016, [Oil on Board], 1000 cm x 1500 cm
For this painting I began by using Michael Harding oil paints thinned using Michael Harding medium PM1 and Pip Seymour Oleo-resin PM5.
I was interested in the extent to which the pigment spread while retaining its intense colour qualities and what happened at the points at which colours blended and merged.
I then introduced unadulterated paint. Obviously unmediated paint restricted the degree to which the paint spread and so the concentration of pigment greatly intensified which added dramatic contrasts to the strength of colours and tones.
There was a mesmerising ethereal quality to this composition reminiscent of silk wafting in the breeze or vapour extending then collapsing. I wanted to add more of the tension and strength achieved using unmediated paint. I sculpted lines into the paint using the edge of a squeegee and spatulas of various sizes.
This photograph emphasises the icy quality of the painting produced by covering large areas of intense blues, violet and amethyst paint with thick bands of white. I then scratched out lines of various thickness. Viewers say they see twigs in a wintry landscape. This painting was a surprise to me.
Following many phases of activity, I have yet to return to this painting in an active mode. Like winter, it transmits to me a sense of something dormant, still and yet restless. I am reflecting on why it appears that this image and this particular colour combination appears to stop me from transforming it still further.
The velvety finish and intense pigments of Michael Harding paints produces a sumptuous, textual quality. I mainly painted wet-on-wet so many of the final colours were blended on the board while working through the paint with various implements.
I could have revealed more of the colours beneath the surface but I feel a sense of shared intimacy with the painting knowing that the earlier nuances are present and yet cannot be seen (a visual oxymoron).
Perhaps, once again, as with human experience we sometimes see the outworking of events but not the events themselves. This image points to a cold, brooding – perhaps otherworldly – abstracted landscape.