I painted this in the early hours of the morning over the course of two nights, due to a bout of insomnia (which thankfully soon receded).
After applying a base coat of orange, I applied colours straight onto the surface from the tubes – diazepam purple in the upper left, prussian blue in the upper right, cobalt blue in the middle, and a few lighter shades of purple, pink, blue and green in the lower half. I then basically let loose with a large brush, spreading the paint around, mixing and blending the colours where it felt appropriate. Then applying new colours onto the wet surface and brushing them in as well. Not a technique to use if you want to plan your painting in advance or economise on paint, but certainly good for just letting out your stress and allowing creativity to flow.
After a while I stood back, felt it was a bit too blue and needed some contrast especially in the middle. So while the paint was still wet I used kitchen paper to gradually rub back some areas until a diffuse orange glow began to emerge from the base coat underneath. This gave me the thought of turning that area into fire, and reflecting it onto the mix of colours below in order to give the impression of the lower half being water.
I thought about adding recognisable objects in there – trees and the like – but decided against it. I felt the painting would be better as an abstract expression of the turbulent and circling thought patterns typical of insomnia rather than turn it into something else.
About the Artist
Andy is a self-taught modern impressionist artist based in Canberra, Australia. Most of his works are landscapes inspired by the hills and wild places surrounding the city and the local region, though occasionally he paints scenes from memories or imagination.
He paints to intuitively express thoughts and emotions through his works, so his landscapes are notable for dramatic skies and intense use of colour. They often convey a conservationist theme, illustrating the damage done to nature yet seeking beauty and hope in what remains.
Andy also looks to explore light in all its nuances; his paintings are typically filled with brilliant ambient light and deep rich shadows. The scenes he creates are what he imagines them to be – landscapes as viewed through the prism of his soul.
His works are created with acrylic paints and inks, as his paintings are built up quickly through countless layers which necessitates a fast drying time, and acrylics allow the freedom to apply washes and tinted glazes over thicker impasto paint.
This exhibition, The Colours I Feel, is mostly inspired by Andy’s ventures into the wilds of Canberra during the autumn and winter of 2022 and 2023. He wanted to paint, not the scenes that the city is famous for, but rather the out of the way places where he found peace and inspiration.