A recent commission that turned out great — which makes me happy as it is huge at 60 x 40 inches. Crated and shipped off to clients on the East Coast of the USA.
It looks simple enough, but a large amount of white space is several thin layers of paint that took days to dry while I anxiously waited and hoped no specks of dust or marks would ruin the smooth surface I work to achieve. The effect is a luminosity that changes with different light throughout the day and the change of seasons.
I listen to radio, podcasts and audiobooks while I work. I have done so for over a decade. I have noticed that when I look back at past paintings, I can instantly recall what I was listening to. This is not true for all paintings because not everything I hear makes an indelible mark. But some things have significance, and they signal a turning point or an idea that has substance and holds.
Fact: if you pose your hand holding a brush up to your painting, more people will stop and look at the image when they’re scrolling through on their phones. My hand in the photo does a few things; it offers a sense of scale and offers the sense of a human being behind the work you are looking at.
The objects I paint are always shown as they are in the world — I don’t pull any magic tricks — it’s straightforward realism. But the one thing I do is scale-up. These bubble gum machines can hold a place of imagination and nostalgia. When painted large and bold, they dominate the space they are in. I suppose, in a way, the “trick” is to make you notice and captivate you, even just for a moment.
I had these hanging in my house for several months, but they are now in Los Angeles at the George Billis Gallery where they will be on display from February 22 – March 28.
The big red Acorn gum machine’s little blue brother. As I have lamented before, I wish everyone looking at this on their screen could see it in person. The colour, the detail the subtle texture of the painted surface, all these vanish and flatten with the backlighting of the device you’re viewing.
In 2009 I painted this big red Acorn gum machine – so it was time to visit it again. My motive to paint this is obvious – it’s a beautiful thing to behold. Also, Wayne Thiebuad painted gum machines and he’s an inspiration.
I’m more confident with details and relaxed with the time that it takes to focus. In 2009 I intentionally only painted a few gumballs. There is also the darker atmosphere. I have a much brighter studio now and the result shows in the paintings.
At once these paintings are both simple and complex – like a metaphor for all things in life.