170420a Rainbow (2017) oil on canvas 15 x 20cm

The return to colour continues, with some rainbows. Previously when working with colour I was pre-occupied with hues and my inability to differentiate some of them. Here are some of the things I neglected to think about then, but I do now:

  • Tonal relationships are as important as hue. One won’t fly without the other. If the hues look wrong, it might be the tones that need to change.
  • There doesn’t need to be an all-over pattern of varied hues, tones, or marks. It’s okay, and often beneficial, to allow some “empty” spaces / solid blocks of colour.
  • Not everything has to be coloured. Often it’s good to include grey, brown, black or white.
  • Try not to think of the paint in terms of the colour labels on the tubes, or conventional colour theories – these don’t correspond with my colour vision deficiency. Better to get colours onto the palette, forget which tube they came from, and work with what I see.

170420b Rainbow Shadow (2017) oil on canvas 15 x 20cm


170420c Bee and Rainbow (2017) oil on canvas 20 x 15cm


170420d (2017) oil on canvas 13 x 15cm


170420e Rainbow Pin-Ball (2017) oil on canvas 14.5 x 16.5cm

Lots of Kippenberger and Guston echoes here, and that’s still okay with me.


5 thoughts on “Rainbows

  1. Your rainbows have nothing to hide. If the further thoughts you’ve mentioned of the use of colour do help nudge you forward, yay! The colour in all these is luscious and living.

    Kippenberger I don’t see nor Schutz here, but if they’re lurking there, fine.

    I wish I had the vocab to talk about my check on your technique. All I can say is that here, and with your Berlin works, you are getting extra dimensionality. All the while, you are composing, something emerges. One day it will hit you in one of your works as complete.


    • Yeah, it’s funny with colour, because literally whatever direction I go in, whatever experiment I try, it’s always a big learning experience because I’ve spent my adult life ignoring colour and assuming it’s something other people can work with. The more I tinker with it, the more I like it.


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