Process & Product

Some of these paintings have taken years to complete, and even as they're being framed it's sometimes difficult to seal them away beyond further reach. There's always the temptation to add another glaze here or there, perhaps even white-out a whole section and do it all over again.

The process of making them requires a lot of space because the medium containing the colour is liquid and is often being poured directly onto canvas or board which then has to be kept flat until it the paint is dry enough not to run or bleed when tilted. That requires time. One of the advantages of having been doing this work for so long is that I know the materials perform well over time - the medium holds pigment effectively and there is no measurable deterioration of colour intensity even after lengthy exposure to sunshine. The paintings generally (but those with polythene glaze specifically) are best viewed illuminated in natural sunlight (preferably not direct), when the reflective/refractive qualities are enhanced. 

Short of working in a clinically sterile environment, there is no way to make these works entirely blemish-free. Stray hairs, motes of dust, minute shards of glass and/or plastic sometimes emerge long after the work has been framed. The backing of many of the works are paint-smeared and fingerprinted. Most of the frames I've been using in the past decade were acquired as a job-lot from a well-known Scottish landscape artist who was in the process of reframing much of her work for a series of shows - the colours she favours can often be detected on the back of the frames (a mere smear here or there but enough for some to be able to identify the artist!).  For me, this enhances the originality of the work, the idea that these solid wooden frames are hosting sequences of very different works by different people. 

The fact that these works are in 'used' frames and are not 'perfect' marks them as unique. Many people enjoy filling their home spaces with artwork purchased from large furniture outlets, and understandably so - if one were to consider the price of 'art' per square-foot then there is no way anyone could compete with the products being sold by these major retailers - many of the pieces available are reproductions of very fine original paintings, prints and photographs. However, the main drawback about having such work as the centrepiece of the space where you receive guests is that they may well own the same piece, or know others who do. Isn't it a common nightmare of some that they attend a social occasion to find that another guest is wearing the same outfit? By having original artwork occupying the prime spots in your home, you can ensure that any 'talking-points' generated will not be concerned with how many other places the same image has been viewed!