Cold Wax Oil Mixed Media paintings from my 2017 body of work
Painting with oil and wax by its nature, is made up of layers – I sometimes incorporate collage elements between the layers, sometimes revealed, sometimes not. The vibrant, translucent surface of waxed layers pulls the viewer close. The cold wax medium enhances the transparency and brilliance of the oils, and creates a smooth matte finish which can later be buffed to a high sheen. Building up layers, and gouging down to reveal what is below creates an opportunity for the unexpected to reveal itself. I incorporate many techniques in my work, including some from my printmaking background. I like to maintain an open experimental attitude towards materials and tools.
The unfolding of mystery reveals the inherent beauty in the piece. This is what pulls me forward, leads me into the unknown, embracing and/or grappling with whatever comes up. I manipulate the materials to express myself, to find my own visual language. My work results in a subtly nuanced, rich surface that resonates with memories of places I have lived and visited.
It is not easy to paint abstractly, it took years of learning the craft before I could let go of the ‘real’ world and be free enough to allow my whole self to enter the canvas and paint what is inside. Ultimately a thorough understanding of compositional qualities is very important in creating successful abstract designs. It doesn’t matter if the viewer doesn’t ‘understand’ what it means. In fact, what it means fades into the background because the work speaks. It sings out and touches you personally. It may not do the same for your partner or best friend. But that is the beauty of art. It is your own personal relationship with a work of art that is what matters; it is an intimate and private affair.