269at45degrees

Painting number 269 is a master plan for an abstract two dimensional plane of mind.

The first step is always the hardest when faced with a blank canvas and the need to create something new from nothing.

The process begins with a grid, which actually says a lot about us as human beings. We always seem to inflict grids on landscapes. The landscape usually fights back and undermines the perfect simplicity of a grid with irritations like texture or topography, but not this time! This is a totally flat digital plane on which to work.

The next step is to choose scale and format:  a 1100 millimetre square canvas, with no frame. Because the landscape is infinite and cannot be confined by a frame. But the painting needs a border, so the frame becomes a dark edge, integrated within  the composition. The sense of infinite space in all directions must always remain. At this scale , the canvas will always hang above the head of the viewer, thereby dominating the relationship as an environment rather than an object to be owned or consumed.

A square format is challenging to compose. A square canvas always battles to sit comfortably on a wall. As an abstract representation, it has no up or down or conventional  relationship with gravity to be concerned about. The canvas would be just as self reliant if hung at 5, 10 or 25 degrees.

Rotating the plane to exactly 45 degrees is a deliberately naive decision. A simple geometry used by artists and builders  for thousands of years.

The rotated canvas initiates a new grid which interacts with the first, generating  relationships and intersection points, each demanding  resolution. Each one an opportunity and challenge. Each solution in turn initiating additional responses across the field.

Colours highlight a separate composition on top of the geometric. While related, they are a layer in their own right. Each tone is chosen at the same distance from neutral grey. Even though they exist scattered across an imaginary sphere in colour space, their combined value always returns to the stability of the centre. The actual colours are irrelevant, but their relationship to each other is critical.

Each step in the process is taken in relation to the last as the canvas evolves, generating its own complexities and character. The only direction is forwards. No decisions are ever reversed. Even the problematic results are integrated into the landscape, layer upon layer of process and system feed back into each other until the narrative resolves into climax and almost touches that final point of completion.

But  the canvas is never complete. It is not a single statement or message with coherent meaning to be easily understood and consumed. It remains an open narrative to be explored and deciphered and reinterpreted by an observer who may encounter it in time.