Early works of abstraction

Before I ventured into MoE paintings my early  “representational” work was a  cause of confusion and entrapment, not only as an artist, but also as a person. I found that in order to make the transition from one genre of painting to another I felt, rightly or wrongly that I required  a narrative to justify my new direction.

Did I need support?  Perhaps I did, but I’m not one to ask for advice even if it was free. Admit to inadequacy of my subject matter, NO. Therefore I made up the structure in my head,… a skeleton on which to hang my body of art on.

Displaying feelings

The more I thought about my work the more I distilled the thoughts to the key elements of “feeling, emotions and self ” How do I paint “emotions” without falling into the everyday clichés e.g. green for envy, red for rage. Is there truly a need to express a specific colour to an emotion? I will have to think about the answer to that one! So I started to research the subject a little deeper.  Well it just happened that I had a book on the shelve by Antonio Damasio, ” The feeling of what happens”, so this is where I started.


Damasio’s book can be difficult to read if you don’t have a science background, but the essence of his book is about the emotions which are constantly running, often in the background, and generally going about their daily routine  without us being aware of the emotions.

That is until something kicks off in our lives….wow then our emotions go ballistic.

Damasio talks about “Channels”, channels from which run streams of emotional matter which trigger a response in our bodies. Fight or flight if its adrenalin which is pumped out, or the LOVE hormone oxycontin.

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"Channels, 2011"

Building a painting

I used small pieces of wood and glued them to the surface of the canvas, leaving a small gap between each piece. Then filled them with acrylic paint. Four  open channels to show the constant background emotions. Use of a sharp needle to scratch with.

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"Layers 2011"

Layers 2011

This is the next level up in the hierarchy of my painting structure, defining the environment in our bodies in which emotions are felt.Perhaps “Layers” is a little too much anatomical in its appearance, it must be a flash back to an earlier job as an anatomy lecturer. Any way, each layer is superimposing on the other, areas scratched away, and liquid paint pooling on the surface to deliver the finished piece.