Without a traditional art background or training, one thing that has always been lacking in my recent art practice is preparation. Even when I was a graffiti writer (a long time ago) I’d see other writers had elaborate sketchbooks with full colour designs and I’d have a scrap of paper, containing a few loose shapes…planning has never been my forte.
These spray paint sketches have been an effort to change that and find middle ground between planning, testing and painting. I’ve started transferring these ideas into large formats recently, the smaller paintings act like a key or legend on a map to provide indicators moving forward.
They’re also small, affordable pieces in their own right.
Here’s the new addition to the interior of Top End Barbering Co in Melbourne.
The painting was a marathon 13 hour effort finishing at 3 am. Painting in an unventilated space, even with a spray painters mask, I left dazed and had what was pretty much a toxic hangover. Next time, I’m renting an extractor fan.
This small piece (35 x 35 cm) was created to enter the Bell Arti Prize at the Chapman and Bailey Gallery.
All entrants were provided an identical canvas to utilise, with no restriction on the theme or medium. Despite the small size, I was still keen to work with spray paint as the dominant medium. I used layers of spray paint, built up and scraped back to create depth and texture. I also used very thin layers of oil paint to soften dense colour of the spray paint used. The idea was to create a soft, ghostly figure who was fading before us.
I can’t remember getting a birthday present from my brother, I don’t think he’s ever got me anything.
Unlike the lucky guy who’s brother not only got him a custom board, but also gave me the board to whip up a little happy birthday lettering with custom family portrait…how thoughtful! I wish I could be reincarnated into this dudes family, looks like they have a lot of fun.
The board itself was more of a challenge than I expected. The markers that have a very limited colour palette and unlike paint, blending and shading doesn’t work particularly well. The piece was executed with line work and stippling rather than smooth grades of shading. Posca paint markers are also very flat and chalky so I’m hoping the final coast of fibre glass makes the colours ‘pop’ a bit more.
I’d really like to do a few more of these, focusing on large images filling the whole board. I really like doing these customisations, working on canvas feels a little static, these types of things are fun and energetic.