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The space between painting and sculpture

Creating a sense of the third dimension in painting is a challenge, but there are different ways to render lo depth and recession. Expressive painters like Van Gogh, Willem de Kooning, Frank Auerbach and Anselm Kiefer are known for their liberal use of paint, the kind of paint that has a palpable and tactile presence. In the work of German artist, Anselm Kiefer, the density of material applied to the canvas projects beyond the surface and occupies the realm of low relief sculpture. He often attaches real objects to the work, breaking the boundary between painterly illusion and reality.

A landscape painting in oil and cold wax
A Warmer Latitude 130 x 100 cm on canvas

Close-up of Artwork

In this painting, titled 'A Warmer latitude' I have used a combination of bitumen, plaster, oil and cold wax. The painting has undergone many changes and is virtually unrecognisable from the first few exploratory layers. In the early stages, plaster was applied thickly, and before drying, etched with an assortment of knives and sharp tools. Bitumen, diluted with turpentine was used to stain the canvas and strengthen the tonal contrast between raised edges and deeper marks. The foreground has been modelled in oil paint squeezed straight from the tube. Latterly, a heat gun has been used to meld the wax with the oil, thus introducing new and unexpected textures and tonal qualities not readily achievable with conventional painting techniques.

Close-up of Artwork

I sometimes think that my training in ceramics has had a powerful influence on the way I use paint.

Clay is remarkable for its ability to record a vast range of marks and impressions and the effects that can be achieved with the interaction of oxides and stoneware glazes can be simply breath-taking. The intense heat of the kiln provides the element of chance without which a piece can often be consigned to predictable conformity. In many ways, I could be considered a frustrated sculptor or ceramicist, forever striving to recapture the spontaneity of a 1200-degree centigrade glaze firing.


Thank you for reading my contemporary art blog. Please take the opportunity to look at my collection of paintings in the online gallery. All of my paintings are original artworks on high-quality canvas frames. If you are interested in purchasing a specific painting, please get in touch to check current availability or to discuss a commission. Please contact me.

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