Tweaking Primary Colours – works on plywood

(c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and acrlyic paint pen on board
 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board
 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board
 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board
(c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and acrylic paint pen on board

Here are some more works on plywood board.  It’s a wonderful material to work into, as it comes complete with a spatial or atmospheric kind of ‘background’, because of the wood grain surface.

I’m focusing on primary colours with my colour choices.  I think in terms of starting with red, yellow, blue and tweak them slightly.  The blue may become a light blue or royal blue.  The red I turn slightly to a hot pink or magenta by adding the tiniest bit of white or yellow, or go all the way to a fleshy tone.  The yellow I turn, either slightly or a long way, in the direction of orange.  There’s also some random green in one of these works, thrown in for good measure but unrelated to primary colours.  However, I must say, I think that work is the least successful in terms of colour palette.

I’m finding these adjustments are a great way to deal with colour.  The relationships between the colours are still largely based on primaries, but it alters my thinking about them and my fear of primary colours, inspired by art history’s fear.  While not quite ‘complementary’ colours, they still operate in a really illusory way.  Complementary colours naturally work amazingly to create optical illusions, because they are truly opposite colours.  These tweaked primaries have something at play also and I am deep in sorting it out as I go along.

Random and Deliberate Brush Marks

Incrementally throughout my recent works on wooden boards I have been experimenting with random and deliberate brush marks.  When you paint something, like a house or a piece of furniture, you use brush marks in such a way as to get good coverage but it’s also quite random.  Noticing this in my own work, I have sought to be more deliberate in my use of this.  (It’s a further development in what I was trying to get at with other tests with brush strokes.)

It started appearing in various tests.  And I wanted to take that randomness and try and use it in my work.

I used it alongside straight edged shapes, trying to figure out in what capacity it could fit into my work.  But didn’t feel really attached to the rough a scumbly edges.

I started to fill in with a sharp edge the shapes the brush marks created.
Suddenly, these wonky shapes started appearing amongst the straight edged ones.

These were still random and deliberate shapes that were part of a line of unfolding architectural shapes (as above).  But I also started to play with the shapes as their own beast.

These are still tests.  I haven’t made any resolved works out of them, but they are good to have cooking along in the background.  I feel they still have a very strong relationship to architecture and space.  So I expect there will be more of these, perhaps in a wall installation capacity.

‘Is the tape part of the work?’

Grand plans, that’s what I had.  It was going to be the first of a series of works on wooden board and I already knew what I wanted to do.  But then came the suggestion ‘Is the tape part of the work?’
Gosh.  No.  It’s not…. wait.

Ah, the eyes of other people!  They see other things.  I had taped the edge of the wood to protect it while I was working with it.  However, as the tape is a vibrant blue, it played off the colours I was working with on the board.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Is the tape part of the work? (detail view)
Acrylic and low-tack painters tape on wooden board

 
(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Is the tape part of the work? (side view)
Acrylic and low-tack painters tape on wooden board

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Is the tape part of the work?
Acrylic and low-tack painters tape on wooden board

For the moment, it stays.  I think they were right.  It is part of the work.
Makes me giggle every time I see it though.

Analogous to Orange

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.
(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall/floor.
(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.
 
 (c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Analogous to Orange
Acrylic, vinyl and wool on wall.

Using a hierarchy of analogous colour and scale, this painting installation comes complete with a suggested order of reading.  The brushed yellow and grey line on the floor is the point of entry, start there.  Up, it beckons, to the illusory space on the left which suggest a kind of interior and draw attention to the light above.  Webs of wool shapes interrupt overhead space, joining left to right wall.  On the right a series of forms and illusory shapes have a closer relationship to the body moving through the space, being of a similar size to the body and closer that the afforementioned shapes.  Then an interruption to the rambling shapes and a leap to a single geometric form painted on the floor.

This work took quite some time for me to be satisfied with.  Every time I create a work, it’s a learning experience.  This has been no different.  I am pleased with the use of the architectural space of the hallway.  It’s an area I’m pretty familiar with and have made a couple of works here before, so I am no stranger to it.  The layout of the work in the space is kind of an outplaying of how my eye takes in the space when it’s empty.  I wanted to guide others through it as I see it.  As well as to use the dominant forms on the upper left to push people back against the opposite wall to influence the way people walked through the space.

An interesting development is that the elements which were painted on the floor were walked over, not stepped over or walked around.  I guess this is indicative of how one walks in an actual thoroughfare – this is not technically an art space, so people continue to barrel through as usual.  Something I could consider for future works – do I want to do something to interrupt their normal barrelling through spaces, or allow their walking over the work to change it?

Mixing Colours – Works on Board

(c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board

Check out these new works on plywood board, a fantastic substrate to work on.  I found a supplier of them and I am slowly whittling down their supply.  It is raw 3-ply on a braced frame, somewhat like the stretchers of a canvas.  This return to a more traditional substrate hails a return to artist quality acrylics, which means, I can mix colours once more.  When working on walls with house paint, I had to make colour decisions at the hardware store – because of the high content of filler and low pigment in house paint, they don’t mix well and end up muddy horrible colours.  Artist acrylics have a high amount of pigment in them, which means they mix like a dream.  Now I make colour decisions sitting in front of my easel.

The works feature abstract architectural space and painterly, flat fields of colour in contrast.

 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board
 
 (c) 2012, Naomi Nicholls
Acrylic and graphite on board

Analogous and a Work in Progress

An installation of analogous colours has been forming in the hallway of late.  The hallway I have used before.   Analogous is a nice word, yes?  Analogous colours are colours that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel, as opposed to complementary colours, which are opposites on the colour wheel. Ah, an education.

It is almost all the way done.  Photos and more details of the finished product coming next week…

Have an analogous day, everybody.