I wanted to make a white painting inspired by the fact that I was enjoying the lightness and brightness of my freshly painted walls in progress, so whilst redecorating I went back to this painting with big brushes in hand and experimented with how white is white and still has a composition and subject. My boredom levels house painting were getting a tad challenged, to be honest!
Making a predominately white painting is much harder than it sounds! So I decided to identify a few shades of white.
Here’s my white palette. I did say I was getting bored painting the walls white!
White Van – a grubby, dirty white. You can write into white van to reveal something underneath
Ice cream – a white that makes your heart melt but is a trap because you don’t want to paint over that bit because it’s delicious like ice cream but ends up making you want to scream in frustration as you paint around it rather than simply over it
Bird Shit – gloopy drips of white, sometimes with flecks of black in it
Used Bed Sheet – another more yellowish shade of grubby white, reminding you the sheets need changing
Ghost – transparent glaze aka acrylic paint which dries disappointingly thin
Deathly White – Taking a large brush and thinking f**k it and painting out that nice bit of accurate horse drawing or in this case several horses but knowing they are still alive in the paint somewhere
Snow – a thick covering of paint that makes your feel cold and shivery after applying as you had spent hours creating what you’ve now obliterated
Stained Snow – yellowy glaze made by using a new to me, expensive paint called Quinacrodin Nickel Gold, (not sure I have spelled that correctly) which reminds me of urine and is beyond disappointing, so had to be painted out every time I tried to use it, resulting in a variety of pissy shades from Used Bed sheet (very subtle) to Stained Snow (really ugly)
Plastic Cutlery – cheap acrylic white paint that sets your teeth on edge
White Socks – inspired by a friends comic definition of a certain type of person who likes everything under control and perfect, but now used to define smudgy areas created by using recycled old socks and other bits of garb as paint rags to wipe off paint
Old Book – glorious faded white that’s is accompanied with that library smell. I spent hours collaging Old Book pages and funny sentences into the painting, but they whited out
Rubber – stains and smudges in the paint that show even though you are trying to erase something to get back to pristine.
White Nets – when everyone had net curtains and you were still able to see through them but not very clearly. Layers of paint has this quality. A kind of looking in, whilst images are peering out but barely noticeable
All White Now – Lisping white! An OK colour! A feeling that you might be finished with the painting!
Pristine – the joy, excitement and trepidation of standing in front of a fresh canvas with no idea of what you are going to paint next as you are still totally rubbish at planning your paintings even after all these years! But then it would be boring if we all knew what was going to happen next!
Scottish White – when you try to photograph a white painting outside and it comes out blue because it’s cloudy
I think it is time to buy a few more big canvases!
The Winged Messenger, 150 x 100 cm, Available