Blues & blacks


No five things this week, instead a catch up on what’s been happening in the studio this week – I’ve been working on a couple of small blue monochromes and also taking steps towards creating a larger monochrome work.

Of the pale blue monochromes, I’ve a couple on the go. One sits on the wall as I decide how to deal with the edges of the work, the other on my desk waiting for another layer of paint. Both use older paintings as a starting point.

In going over old works, the quality of the painting surface is quite different from working on a pristine surface. It’s less absorbent for starters. Also, the textures of the previous work are still apparent at certain angles under a couple of layers of paint. With more layers they’ll become hidden.

In making monochromes this way I can either accept and absorb the history of the previous works or paint everything a flat grey, which makes for quite horrible surface to work on. So I’m going for the former option.


Away from the blue works I’ve been mixing different blacks for a larger monochrome work I’m considering. I could use a black straight from the tube but in mixing my own there’s the opportunity to create something richer and more alive. This larger work will again involve going over an older unresolved work dug out from storage. It has areas that are quite different tonally and I’m interested to see how this contrast comes through once I start to build up the new layers of paint. But first, I need to choose which black to use.

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