Patrick Canning

"I am Patrick Canning and am one of many abstract impressionist artists. I have to create on a continual basis. I have a Masters in theology and I find my connection to the almighty universe through my subconscious when painting".

Summer Haze

During the very cold winter months I painted this work longing and thinking of the summer. I had thoughts of the great summers we all remember of our childhood and how we tend to think that the summers back then as longer and warmer. This painting took me back to those days when as a child I was catching bee’s in a jam jar and playing by the water’s edge, summers that went on and on and seemed to never end. Certain colours and thoughts can trigger off memories and allow us to romantically dream of better days. When I paint in this abstract way certain brush strokes and colours can invoke my imagination and carry me away on a wave of emotion. Art for me is all about emotions and feelings and what better than to recall hot sweltering summers that filled the best days of your childhood. Summer Haze is such a painting that can act as a time machine to transport you to idyllic days, this work certainly did that for me.

Tropical Storm

My wife and I often spent our holidays in Florida and in two particular places, Orlando and Kissimmee. Although Florida is known as the sunshine state, it is also known for its tropical storms. Orlando itself is renowned for being the thunder and lightning capital of the world. Looking outside from your hotel at night it can be quite spectacular to observe however on a few occasions when visiting friends, we were caught in storms as we drove back to our hotel. I can testify that I did not enjoy the spectacle as I would normally do from the safety of our hotel room. When painting I recalled one time returning from Cape Kennedy such a storm arose and it became quite frightening as the thunder bolts flashed almost immediately in front of our van. One such flash of lightning just missed our van and resulted in a large fiery crater in the field beside the freeway. It was a near miss. On other occasions I was driving through Chicago and the rain was so heavy it was impossible to see out of the windscreen so I had to pull in till the rain subsided. All these thoughts ran through my mind as this painting came to a conclusion.

Hurricane

I have often wondered what it would be like to be in the centre of a hurricane? In this work I tried to envisage just that, however not immediately. It was quite some time before the painting began to reveal itself to me. I don't think though that it is necessarily the actual centre or eye of the storm but possibly towards the edge of the hurricane looking inside.

As it happened when I was working on this painting it became very windy and blustery outside my studio which is on the shores of a Scottish Loch. At time I thought my studio was about to be uprooted and fired into the sky alla Dorothy's house in the movie Wizard of Oz. I battened down the hatches and began painting. In vain I tried to shut out the extreme weather conditions but couldn't free myself of the weather outside which intruded on my normal sense of calm. I therefore began to paint regardless of what was going on outside.

The result as you can see before you transmitted itself onto the canvas. While I was not in a hurricane per se, at times it felt very close to it.

Time Traveler

I never begin a painting with any preconceived ideas or intentions, my aim is to allow my subconscious to have full rain as I commence painting. Each stroke of the brush is intuitive and without conscious thought. Above all I want my work to be as spontaneous as possible and to have a vigorous lively look conveying an energy but also some sort of harmony at the point of completion. Most of the time as I near the end of the work a title will suggest itself to me. The title never comes before the painting is done but always seems to me to be very obvious when I know that the painting is finished. Getting close to the end of this work for some reason Time Traveller came to mind and thoughts of Einstein’s theory of relativity. The notion also occurred to me as we look to the stars that most of what we see is actually in the past as the stars we see are no longer there but have taken many light years to arrive in our constellation. This painting could be the visual impressions of a time traveller as he or she passes through time and all things become blurred through the action of time travel.

The Man

I recall that the day I painted this work it was the usual cold and wet day and I have noticed that my mind tends to want to paint warm and comforting colours on such a day in a way to counterbalance my environment, why this is I do not know. I have observed that my palette most of the time includes reds, yellows and greens and often thoughts of more exotic climbs. As this painting progressed I seemed to perceive the shape of a man, the head and shoulders of such. When I “see something” during my painting I usually endeavour to bring this to the fore. This so called Man gave me the impression of being early or primitive man. I therefore felt compelled to name the work “The Man”. The colours suggest a tropical locale maybe in a jungle or some such exotic existence, certainly very far from my present situation. Maybe my subconscious is enabling me to momentarily escape the sometimes harshness of my everyday life, this is a distinct possibility. Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder, and other viewers may not perceive the ancient man, that’s the beauty of Abstract Art, it’s what you perceive that counts.

Jackson

A major influence in my art career is the famous American Abstract Expressionist artist called Jackson Pollock. Jackson rose to fame during the 1950’s-60’s in the New York school of abstract painters. As a young boy of 15, I studied the work of Jackson Pollock during my lunch break each day in Motherwell where I worked. I became hooked on Abstract art though I studied as many artists as I could Motherwell Library has an extensive collection of books on art and lives of famous artists. Up until this time my main focus was on landscape painting and I never really considered abstract art. However, the work of Pollock, Motherwell, Rothko and Klee all captured my imagination and from then on, I became an abstract artist. This type of painting gave me the sense of freedom and exhilaration and though I used different methods to paint this work I felt it reminded me of Jackson Pollock with all the swirls of dripping paint. I therefore dedicated this painting to my hero Jackson.

Blue Mushroom

I love mushrooms, and it was only a matter of time before this obsession would manifest itself in my work. I suppose in this painting it has, although as I have said most times I deliberately endeavour to keep my mind free of any influences or thoughts so that my work is free and spontaneous. During this painting I found myself painting what looked like a mushroom motif. It wasn't my intention to do this initially, it just kind of happened. I began this painting with a background of bright yellow representing a sunshine colour as it was a very gloomy rain filled day which is the normal in this part of the world, I therefore attempted to cheer myself up by choosing this particular colour for the background. Maybe I was feeling hungry when the mushroom began to appear, who knows? I do know I wasn't eating any mushrooms at the time, magic or otherwise, however here it is.

Black Hole

Im a great Sci-Fi fan and many of my paintings are influenced by my love of this genre. I also take a great interest in all things relating to Science cosmology and everything outer space.

As I worked through this painting it suggested to me that I was painting what could be a black hole in outer space. It is said by scientists that these black holes come about through the collapse of a star.

"A black hole is a place where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying. Because no light can get out, black holes can't be seen, they are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars" * (Part of an article of the NASA knows! (Grades K4) This painting is my impression of what a black hole is like in the early stages of development.

Still Life

During my youth I studied various artists among them a French Post Impressionist painter called Paul Cezanne. His paintings really captivated myself in particular his paintings on still life subjects, simply but powerful themes on for example a bowl of fruit against a white cloth background. I loved his choice of palette and the textures he produced, I could look at his paintings for hours on end. You won’t be surprised to learn that I had no such thoughts or intentions when I began this particular work. I did however think of keeping the work loose and as free as possible. I started to make broad swirling strokes which reminded me of Cezanne’s bowl of fruit, the painting spoke to me and so I responded by guiding it in that direction. This was a painting that gave me a great deal of pleasure and the feeling of euphoria pervaded my senses. To my way of thinking it has a french feel to it and possibly a throw back to my days of Cezanne appreciation.

Underworld

This painting totally surprised me as I don’t usually paint in somber colours and tones. It’s a mystery to me why this was so, I can only think that my subconscious was in a dark place why I can’t say. As this painting developed my thoughts and feelings started to dwell on a spiritual aspect that of a place called in some religions as Hell. In other religions it is known as Sheol, others the underworld. It’s generally a place of eternal suffering of which there is no escape. I don’t like thinking of such things and I can’t explain why this painting came out the way it did. I have however to face the reality of this place whether I like it or not. I can’t imagine anyone enjoying the prospect of spending eternity in such a place, maybe this was a reminder to me to try and avoid at all costs the prospect of becoming a resident of the Underworld. I will do my level best to do so. It can serve as a reminder to anyone should they wish to avail themselves of it.

The Eye

On this occasion I was attracted to greens and applied a few different shades of green onto the canvas alternating with yellows and blues. I was free flowing and at peace as I painted this work. A great feeling of contentment enveloped my mind and soul as the painting began to take on a life of its own. This is not an uncommon thing as I have found through my painting experience. Greens and blues seem to fill me with peace and satisfaction. At a certain point I could perceive an Eye motif which just came right out of the blue. However if you actually study the painting it seems as though there are two eyes just off centre of the canvas. The feeling I got from this work was like that of the “All Seeing Eye of God” watching over humanity which was an ancient symbol of Christianity. I must emphasise that I did not intend for this to happen, my way of working does not involve any sort of pre-planning I allow always my paintings to develop by themselves. It is purely intuitive and free.

Midnight City

In this work I decided to keep to a limited palette of blues, purples and reds. Apart from that I did no further planning or gave any thought as to what to paint. I have found to my experience in painting Abstract works I feel more at home adopting this method of painting. It allows me to be completely free and unrestricted and also happier when I paint in this way. My aim though is to convey joy, happiness, peace and enjoyment in all of my work. It is my hope that when someone views my paintings they will get some of these emotions and feel the better for it, hopefully I can make the world a good place by producing art in this way.

Not for the first time my work informed me what direction I should take and building shapes began to appear but also what looked like rain in some sort of blurred city view at night which happens when you look out of a window as darkness falls during heavy rain. It felt to me that I was looking at a city scape maybe at midnight. So I called it Midnight City

Skyscrapers

In this painting I decided not to use any brushes which for me is very unusual. I applied the paint before hand onto the canvas rather than mixing colours on the palette as is my normal practice. This is why I enjoy Abstract Expressionism so much. It is free from rules or restrictions. No one can tell you what to do it is entirely up to the artist how and what to paint.

It’s this infinity of possibilities that makes this genre so exciting. Although I selected the colours before hand for this work it was still without much conscious thought. I have found it greatly depends upon my given mood as to what particular colours I choose. So it was with this painting. Painting in portrait mode or vertical I discovered that tall buildings began to emerge on the canvas, and it reminded me of some iconic skyscrapers of say cities like New York. It’s a place I have not yet visited but very high on my bucket list. One recalls the awful events of 9/11 when the twin towers of the World Trade Centre were reduced to piles of rubble in the aftermath of the terror attack. Anyone who witnessed this horrific incident will always retain some semblance of memory of that awful day. Painting from my subconscious as I do this work could be a throw back to that particular moment as I myself saw it live on Television at the same point of being operated upon in hospital, so that memory is indelibly etched upon my mind. From a personal point of view the operation was successful which allowed me to paint this work.

Japanese House

This was one of my most pleasing paintings as I recall and I felt really at peace when working on it. The creamy tones had the effect of complete relaxation and calmness.

Unusually I introduced geometric shapes mainly rectangles and squares contrasting with occasional slashes of colour. The whole composition gave me an oriental feeling like the little paper houses that are sometimes found in Japan. It’s a painting that conveys a feeling of warmth and joy but can also be seen as a series of little houses which go off into the distance. However this is only my perception, with abstract art the viewer can see other things which may be obvious to them. Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder in this case.

Souls in Purgatory

I was amazed at the quality and feel of this painting, it had an almost spiritual quality to it and another worldly atmosphere. Again I had no idea what was about to take place during the painting of this work but I do remember feeling rather strange but uplifted as I worked through this composition. For me this painting is all about the main opposing colors. On one had a yellow going into almost pure white and on the other red passing into blue.

As the painting started to resolve itself my thoughts gathered and I was left with the impression of a place known in Catholic Theology as Purgatory.

Purgatory is a place located between Heaven and Hell, a place where a soul goes to be cleansed of all sin, a place of purgation whereby the soul is cleansed with a fire lesser to the fire of Hell but a fire that purifies until the soul is ready to face God and gain entry into Heaven. The souls that go there are called the Holy Souls since they are guaranteed to finally go to Heaven. This work gave me the impression of such a place and therefore I called it Souls in Purgatory.

Aztec 2

In 1998 my late wife and I visited Mexico on holiday and visited among many things the Aztec Pyramids just outside Mexico City. I was captivated by the art of the Aztecs with the emphasis on geometric style of art. Their influence can be seen all over Mexico still to this day and giant statues of the great Aztec chiefs can be found down the avenues in Mexico City itself.

There is a paradox in this apparent rich sophisticated cultured society in that in spite of artistic expression and tremendous systems of government, a barbaric underbelly existed in Aztec society in that human sacrifice was practiced and given to the gods in appeasement. The first-born children were thrown down a bottomless pit in their ancient religious rituals.

It made me think of the dichotomy between art and civilisation and how much we have progressed from then till now in our society?

Street traders will sell you along the routes to the pyramids souvenirs of fake Aztec weapons decorated in a similar way to this painting which brought to mind my trip to the pyramids.

Undiscovered Country

When I embarked upon this project I did not anticipate the length of time it would take to complete. Unlike most of my other works, this painting would take almost three days to complete. It wasn’t that it was proving to be difficult in any way it was just the nature of the painting that unfolded before my eyes. The painting seemed to be other worldly and to my mind not of this universe. I have to point out at this stage that I am a massive Sci-fi freak and in particular a great lover of the Star Trek franchise especially the old 60’s series. I did not have this intention at the start of the painting that it would be dedicated to Star Trek it just became apparent to me towards the end of the work.

According to my way of thinking all of my paintings are taking me and the viewer on a journey to unexplored universes or in this case Undiscovered Countries. My work is not based on what “we can see” but rather what we cannot see. Abstract Expressionism allows us to leave the realms of our present reality and discover new worlds or new countries. At the conclusion of this work I felt I had arrived at an undiscovered country which had strange plants and flora growing there. This country could exist on a far off universe or maybe we all possess these countries within our very beings. I felt this painting was inspired by the movie Undiscovered Country a Star Trek film.

Purple Rain

We all have favourite music artists I know, I have quite a few. When I was painting this work it came back to me the memory of the sad passing of the legendary artist Prince. The memory came flooding back to me of when he passed away. I was driving at the time and I remember it was in the morning and a news flash came over the radio that Prince was dead. I recall that it had a profound effect on me and a sadness fell upon me. Like all great artists even though they may have gone from this world they still live on. As this painting developed my memory of sadness turned to joy as I continued to paint thinking about the great songs Prince had sung and produced. Even though there is not a great deal of purple in the painting there was enough for me to dedicate this painting to the great man’s memory, a small tribute to his passing and work.

Vortex

Like many of my paintings this one came about through total abandonment and clearing all thoughts from my mind prior to taking up the brush to paint. I always try to rely upon my subconscious as regards what the subject matter might turn out to be. The great thing about Abstract painting is that in my particular case it is all about emotion and feelings and as you know that can vary quite a great deal from one day to the next. As we are all part of this complex world and universe we are all tied in some sort of way to things elemental, to nature and our surroundings. In my work I allow these things to influence my work.

I used board swirling strokes in this work and a fairly limited palette of colours. It occurred to me that this painting took on the appearance of a typhoon or Vortex, like in a way the central element found within a raging storm. I decided to name it Vortex, it seemed very apt to me.

Monkey’s Uncle

This painting was one of a very few works that was untitled, which is most unusual for me. Normally as I paint the title makes itself known to me as the painting comes to a conclusion. In this case however I was so overwhelmed with joy and excitement, no title came to my mind. I wasn’t too troubled with this situation as many Abstract artists deliberately leave their works untitled and many more may just give each painting a number as its title. Sometimes a painting can be a struggle to bring to a satisfactory conclusion but in this case painting this work was a total joy and extremely exhilarating to do, I got completely lost in the process and completely lost all track of time.

Whenever I finish a painting I normally post a photo of the finished work online on social media to get some feedback. Most times the feedback I receive is positive however in this case I got a few nasty comments. This is totally fine as I understand that abstract expressionism is not everyone’s cup of tea so to speak. One particular comment I received was that this painting could have been done by a monkey. I replied to this person “well good for the monkey”

It was then that the title came to me “Monkey’s Uncle”. After all many think that the human race is descended from Apes and Monkeys, so I bit tongue in cheek I thought I’ll call it Monkey’s Uncle.

Autumn

I began this painting during the season of autumn and used all the colours that I experienced during last autumn in the area I live in. One might say that my choice of colours are somewhat exaggerated, not for me in my abstract expressionist style. The palette used gives my impression of the colours in my part of the world. Many a time I have experienced beautiful sunset skies going across the colour range from oranges into pink. The rust colours are common amongst the trees and hills of my location and the blues give echoes of deep waters nearby. This was a very exciting painting to do and I derived a great deal of pleasure working on this painting. Initially I didn’t think “right I’m going to paint an autumn painting” no this only manifested itself as the work developed. It wasn’t long into the painting that I did decide to make it an autumn painting as always I allowed the painting to speak to me and direct me in a certain direction. I was happy with the symphony of colours that resulted in this very dynamic painting which also has a lot of movement which symbolises the windy conditions that often accompanies the season. You could say it’s an abstracted autumn painting.

Firestorm

On this particular occasion i decided to let rip so to speak on this very large canvas. It was quite a nice day so I can't blame the weather for my mood for this one. This was pure exhilaration, freedom and me just having a ball, completely letting go as I would say.
You may or may not have guessed already that I truly love bright colours however I wanted to keep the palette simple but bold. In this painting I used very broad and bold sweeping strokes, again why I chose these particular colours I can't say for certain.

I just allowed myself complete freedom of expression and went with the flow. I was struck by the appearance of what looked like a raging fire. Maybe this was an underlying emotion that I was experiencing at that time or maybe I had just received in the post my council tax bill, who knows? Everything can play a part in the act of creation, all emotions come into play and are influenced by internal and external events.

The Phoenix

The phoenix is sometimes pictured in ancient and medieval literature and medieval art as endowed with a halo which emphasizes the bird's connection with the Sun. In the oldest images of phoenixes on record these nimbuses often have seven rays, like Hellos (the sun Titan of Greek mythology).Pliny the Elder also describes the bird as having a crest of feathers on its head,and Ezekiel the dramatist compared it to a rooster.

Although the phoenix was generally believed to be colorful and vibrant, sources provide no clear consensus about its coloration. Tacitus says that its color made it stand out from all other birds. Some said that the bird had peacock-like coloring, and Herotudos claim of the Phoenix being red and yellow is popular in many versions of the story on record.

Ezekiel the Dramatist declared that the phoenix had red legs and striking yellow eyes, but Lactantius said that its eyes were blue like sapphires and that its legs were covered in yellow-gold scales with rose-colored talons. (extract from Wikipedia)

When I started this painting I had no intention of painting the mythical Phoenix as described above, I was as usual allowing my mind to be free without any constraints or ideas of what I should paint. I have found that my best paintings come about when I adopt this method of working. Its a great way to work since I am always surprised as to the end result and to my mind that it was makes it so exciting and rewarding.

I remember on this day It was very wet and windy outside and at first the painting did not seem to be going well, it was like in a way turning into ashes, however quite suddenly it seemed to resolve itself and I found myself painting what appeared to be a bird motive. It was then that I thought of the phoenix rising out of the ashes so I named the painting The Phoenix.

Inferno

I painted this work around about the same time as I painted another work which I called "Jackson", both Inferno and Jackson are heavily influenced by the great American Abstract Expressionist, Jackson Pollock.

Of all the artists I have studied during my artistic life, Jackson Pollock was my "road to Damascus" event. His work had a profound effect upon a young developing artist unsure of his Voice up until that point. His freedom of expression was exhilarating to my mind and had the effect of lifting me out of myself. I would study his paintings for hours on end and he truly inspired my change of artistic direction. So much so that now I only paint in an Abstract Expressionist style.

Although I say that Jackson Pollock has influenced me I did not however use his method of painting which consisted of using a stick to drip the paint onto the canvas which would be laid on the floor of his studio as he would make apparently random swirls and drops of paint upon the canvas until he was satisfied with the composition. Pollock himself was influenced by the Native American art of the Great West and studied the Tribal Art of that area. As I say I did not use his method but I did however use a layer technique being careful to allow each colour to shine through each other. Rather than dripping the paint onto the canvas I used the "throw" technique actually throwing the paint straight from the tube to provide counterpoint to the layer process.

Originally I did not intend to create a "Jackson Pollock" but as is usual I allow the painting to direct me and tell me which direction and colours I should use, its during this activity that I find that the painting is taking shape and it is only then that I will gradually steer it in a certain direction.

The painting to my mind also suggested a fiery place, taking into account the colours and brush strokes, hence the title "Inferno"

Sunburst

Not wanting to go on about it, but we don't normally see much of the Sun here in the West of Scotland particularly and as a consequence not very many warm days are experienced. I think this is always at the back of my mind hence I tend to paint with warm and bright colours probably to counter the environment. I often wonder how I would paint if I lived in a warm or tropical country, I can't really say why I painted in this fashion.

All I can say is that I felt really happy creating this work and my method of clearing my mind before painting allows me to paint with freedom and in an uninhibited way. My impression upon completion was that of a sunburst, maybe that's too obvious I don't know.

Landscape

Since about the age of six or seven years of age I had been a landscape painter right up until about 15 years old. It was about that time that I got hooked on Abstract Expressionism and you could say I saw the light. I suspect however there must still be the odd landscape lurking deep in my subconscious. In my youth I studied great landscape artist’s such as Constable, Turner and Cezanne and those great artists were my earliest influences.

In this work I wanted to paint an abstract but also to pay a small tribute to my favourite landscape painters. I therefore included elements that you would find in a landscape painting but depicted in an abstract way. These elements are not represented in an organised way but rather in my abstract style. Probably when you first look at the painting you would not consider it a landscape in the traditional way but to my mind it is a landscape according to my thinking. As normal with my works I came to the realisation that the painting was finished and that I had an Abstract landscape on my hands.

Easter

I began this painting using very dark colours for some unknown reason, maybe my subconscious was directing me knowing that I would use this as a contrast and counter balance at a later stage in the painting, I can really say for certain that I am not in the mode of pre-planning or even aware of what I am really doing. However the light and bright colours which I applied later in the work suggested to me that the light was overcoming the darkness, like death was overcome by life. These theological ideas dawned on me during this work and I began to see the painting as Easter, the Resurrection of Christ in the tomb according to Christian belief. This is a recurring theme for all of us as we in fact go though a mini resurrection each day and a mini death. When we sleep we are in the aspect of a mini death and rise again each morning to awake to a brightness of colours as we open our eyes to the beginning of a new day.

A new day is a fresh beginning, a resurrection and I felt this work was showing me how exciting a new day can be. We never know what is going to unfold each day however we go forward in hope and expectation. The yellows and oranges in the painting are warm and positive colours which Eventually overcome the dark and cold colours in the painting which gives me the feeling of optimism and hope. One could argue that every painting I begin is an easter because I always feel hopeful as I commence my work, I always feel that it is a new beginning and in a sense it is.

Nevertheless this painting is Easter with a capital 'E' up until the present it is my best and favourite work, well until the next one that is.

Springtime

As the season began to emerge I felt the compulsion to paint this work to try and convey my feelings and emotions of one of my favorite seasons of the year. This painting for me sums up my impression of Spring as the cherry tree begins to blossom and colours of the landscape become more vivid, leaving behind the dull muted shades of winter. Its a great time of optimism and rebirth as the daffodils emerge from deep in the ground and shoots of new growth can be found everywhere.

There is hints of summer promise in the reds and blues but not yet here in its full glory. These thoughts came into my mind as I painted in an uplifting mood of joy and happiness. In most cases I feel very happy when I work and I am completely absorbed and in a sense lost in the process of painting. It completely takes over my senses and in a way takes me out of myself. All other concerns are washed away with every stroke of the brush and I can be transported to another world completely.

It is only when I am almost finished that I start to come back to myself and the idea of what the painting is about becomes clear to me. The painting itself tells me when it is done, its strange but I seem to be made aware somehow that the work is complete and when I get that feeling I immediately stop and put down my brushes and tools.

How this happens is a complete mystery to me but so far it has always been correct. My paintings retain a freshness and spontaneity which would be lost if the work was overworked or laboured. The season of Spring is all about freshness and promise.

Cherokee

This painting was quite a surprise to myself as I seemed to allow one colour to dominate throughout the work, a bright pinky red which I found to be very pleasing to brush onto the canvas. The choice of colour was purely instinctive and not pre-determined in any way but I felt drawn to it that particular day. For me this is the mysterious aspect of my work. I never know how I am going to start a painting or indeed what colours I am going to use, I don't try to analyse it too much or at all as I do not want to loose the "magic" of my painting and end up not being able to paint. I just enjoy the process and see where the painting takes me. As I painted this work, certain brush strokes reminded me of Native American headdress that was worn in the days we would call The Wild West, and in particular the tribe known as the Cherokee. This idea came strongly to my mind during my painting and strangely the headdress seemed to repeat itself over and over again. This repetition had an effect of also bringing to mind the vast herds of buffalo that used to roam the massive plains of America and how the Cherokee and other tribes relied on this great beast for all their needs. I could almost hear the stampede of hooves of the magnificent buffalo or bison as they sped away from their hunters leaving behind great plumes of dust in the air across the plains. These thoughts flooded my mind as this painting neared completion and I felt a sense of sorrow and sadness at the plight of both the Cherokee and the buffalo.

Nations

When I began this painting I decided before hand to use a particular method of working even though I had not decided what I would actually paint. My method was dry brush painting which as the term suggests involves little to no water being used. I have always thought that the “technique” is not the most important thing regarding a finished work but only a means to an end. During the painting it seemed to me like I was looking down upon the earth and I could see countries or as the title suggests Nations. It also reminded me of the old school atlases which had glorious coloured pages showing the various countries of the world. The struggle to paint this work was more than worth it. It’s one of my most satisfying painting’s to date.

Blur

For many of us life is just a blur, especially so as we get older. Time seems to speed up and all of a sudden years have slipped past and we wonder how the years have passed so quickly. Modern day living is especially difficult with so many things to do in each day, the pace of life has never been so fast. Everything is instant this and instant that at times it can be totally overwhelming.

These thoughts ran through my mind during this painting it occurred to me that we all seem to have less time to just stop and think or even to participate in any form of contemplation. Life seems to be passing us by at an alarming rate. Fortunately when I paint I seem to be able to suspend time and take myself out of the world, though once I am finished the reality of my situation comes back to the fore. Blur, the title of this work summarises all these concerns of how fast the pace of modern life really is today and why we must take some time out to remember we are human and capable of great things. To pause for a moment to savour the good things in life and appreciate all that we have.