Future Perfect Now #26
The creation of an abstract is a complex business for me. Today, I got started, after days of reflection and consideration, scribbling down thoughts and ideas, trying (and trying not to try) to achieve some intuitive connection with what may be subject matter; curbing emotions, generating emotions, stretching beyond tired old concepts of shape and colour, emptying my mind of things seen, other art, great works of the past, searching for a new voice and a construct that speaks clearly and powerfully in non-words and deep emotions. I start with a blank canvas and a mess of imagery on paper on the floor. The white is oppressive, so I have previously washed it with what I believe will be a complementary colour to the image that will evolve. I scrawl the basis of the form or arrangement in charcoal, in swift, broad strokes. Step back, drink some water. Face the other way, watch the image in the paint-spattered mirror across the studio. Be careful not to edit or ‘tidy up’, but see it for what it is, with its comfort or discomfort, aggression or reassurance, balance or disturbing vertigo. Whatever. I start to think how I can work with this and, at the same time, get out of its way so it can emerge in its own way. I mix colours, precisely, intuitively, in varying volumes. A palette develops as its own artwork. I choose a brush and start.
An excerpt from Lewis Evans' new book:
Future Perfect Now
Find out more about this groundbreaking book
About this painting
54 years and counting: oil on canvas 100 x 120cm
An abstract commission for an old friend who became a dream client. I had the freedom to do what I wanted as long as it wasn't representational, for someone with whom I could have deep and interesting discussions about art and life.
The client didn't want to see progressives, preferring to take the risk of being surprised when it arrived. When it was delivered, he said:
"I am overwhelmed. What a wonderful piece of work. I can't tell you how buoyed up I am too see this brilliant work of art. It is as if spring has come early."
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