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surface work series 2020-21

materials and substrates


all work:

oil, cold wax and graphite on paper

Various dimensions

uring the making of the work, I have an immediate aesthetic response to each mark or series of marks and take only seconds in deciding to keep or re-make them. This is as basic as a like or dislike for the marks’ value and their relationship to those made before and beside. When I work my face can be as close as a few centimetres from the surface, observing and absorbing each mark as it is made, lifting my eyes to enjoy the emptiness in front and re-assess the marks beside and behind.


Although strictly limited, the materials and substrates I have chosen have unique properties, endles variations and possibilities. I use paper as it is one of the most stable substrates. In its raw state each leaf reacts differently, not only due to its weight or texture, but due to the atmoshpere in the studio; humidity and temperature. These factors allow variations in absorbency and deflection.

Oil is the binder and carrier, which also gives depth and warmth depending how much I use. I choose cold wax as a vicid fixative, which when mixed with oil affords me a range of consistencies and patinas and which also hardens to protect the work. I smear the back of each painting with clean wax so that it is sealed against unstable environments.

Charcoal, graphite and ivory black offer a monochromatic spectrum, which makes subtle nuances easier to assess and allow me to investigate more carefully. Charcoal provides variations in colour and density depending on the properties of that specific branch from that specific willow. Graphite has extreme tones depending on where in the world it is mined. The quality of linseed oil depends on the source and how it is treated. A beehive produces wax according to a formula, but each hive’s production is unique. 

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