Working inside out

I’m really loving my new studio, and have been spending most evenings working late, playing with paint, and keeping the kids happy with crafty things to do.


I have been following on from the “Abyss” piece, and want to create a few more pieces with a similar feel which reflect my interest in the sea and/or the environment. I  started with two small  canvasses, approx. 6 inches square, as they weren’t too daunting in size. I began staining canvas with inks by pouring them, blowing them and dribbling them to form interesting shapes. I have also used various additives to create textures and erased parts of the shapes using bleach and tissue.


Once I felt that I had created enough in terms of shapes and colour, I reached for the whiteacrylic paint, and decided to paint negatively, picking out the interesting shapes.  I found that the ink still bled through the white acrylic, and in some parts this added to the appearance of the piece, but when I required a very white area, I needed to use a few coats of acrylic, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next (the hairdryer speeded this process up).


Last night, whilst Angela’s second lecture, I was struck by the interview with Tomma Abts, 2006 winner of the Turner Prize. This is a transcript of what she says:

“…when I start a painting, I begin with nothing, I don’t make any sketches and I don’t have any research material in my studio at all, so I just work directly onto the canvas. Maybe I start by putting a particular colour onto the canvas, and then I very slowly make shapes, and mostly I make shapes by painting around areas, so its a bit like working inside out… I would say I start with a very vague visual idea, then I very slowly come to something more and more defined and precise, and I think that in the finished painting the forms can be so specific that they are nearly representational or can be almost recognisable.”

Her words seem to echo the process that I have been going through to make these pieces, painting into the negative spaces, deleting areas which I do not need, and striving for harmony within the shapes which I am creating, hence working inside out.


To me, these pieces are maps of imaginary landscapes, ice, tundra and water, which have the ability and potential to evolve as our own environments do on a constant basis.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s