When I first started painting, at the beginning of 2016, I used only black and white paint. This was because I thought that my CVD would prohibit me from working effectively with colour (more on that here and here).
I was unfamiliar with painting in oil, and was surprised by how differently the paint behaves compared to acrylic or watercolour. For the first few months I’d cover sheets of paper with paint, experimenting with different ways of mixing and applying it. I call these “Primordial Soup”, because I hope that these paintings contain the beginnings from which my later paintings will emerge, rather like the early work of the painters I wrote about in this post.
I still look back and refer to these “Primordial Soup” paintings because they’re so exuberant, varied, and full of the pleasure of paint. More recently, I’ve been working on other aspects of picture making: colour, illusionistic pictorial space, larger scale, and a more considered approach to composition and subject matter. In doing so, my painting technique has become far more restrained, but I continue to look at these early paintings and I hope in future I will be able to combine the paint handling of the “Primordial Soup”s with the other skills in picture making that I’m developing now.
ps. I wrote an earlier post about “Primordial Soup” paintings here, but those paintings are actually later than the black-and-white ones here. In some ways, I think of these ones as the true soup, because they came first and are less coherently formed.