PAINTINGS !962 – 1975
In this gallery I show a number of paintings that I did in the 1960s and early 1970s. Most of the paintings are concerned with colour. The idea was to take four colours and put them through their paces. I had just found a book called “The Interaction Of Colour” written by Johannes Itten and was also interested in Seurat and Albers. The very early colour paintings consisted in hard edge shapes, squares and circles placed on top of each other. Every painting was the same size and had the same composition. All that changed was the colours, which were not mixed but taken directly from the tube. I had read in the “Interaction Of Colour” that every colour through off its complimentary colour. So if I put red on top of green, the red would throw off green making the green greener, and the green would throw off red making the red redder. I used four colours in each painting. As the viewer moved towards and away from the paintings the colours took on a slightly different version of its own colours. I found that yellow made the most dramatic changes, going through green yellows to orange yellows, and light to dark yellows. After some time I began adding a neutral grey which also absorbed its adjacent colour in the painting. In later paintings I took four colours through their tonal paces, these paintings became much more decorative.
The early sixties were the interesting days of the pop painters. As I had been taught by Richard Hamilton it was inevitable that some of my early work would include experiments into pop painting.
Most artists develop into their mature style over years of gradual change. I didn’t. One day in 1977 my wife was away on a weeks yoga course. I arrived home from a walk with the dog and saw some strawberries in a bowl. I ate three of them and then decided, for some reason that I still don't understand, to spend the week drawing and painting the strawberries that were left. What occurred was a quantum leap from colour field abstracts to an almost photo realist approach. I never painted another non representational painting again. It was so strange. When I look back, after in some cases fifty years, I wonder if I should have continued with my colour experiments...