How I paint 'Complexity' ?
How do you do it? is the question 90% of people ask me when they are introduced to my work.
I almost never get asked why ?
Maybe it's obvious why, I'm not sure.
Below, I will talk to the 90% and answer 'how'.
The 'why?' Well that can come later.
My art is produced without the use of computers; just my own painting techniques to create the pieces using fine metal dust and glass.
I use toughened glass to ‘paint on’ because it enables me to have complete control of the surface. The reason is that it has the flattest surface of any painting surface that I can find. Its sturdiness means it can be cleaned with a very high polish. This allows the metal dust to flow naturally at a microscopic level, without having any of the obstructions that fibrous (warp and weft) canvas can have. Or even microscopic marks on a metallic surface.
The slightest infraction or influence through scratches or moisture has an impact on the piece and will change the direction of the dust. This sensitivity means I have to also consider the environmental factors whenever I create a piece!
The metal dust which can be silver, bronze or gold is so fine it literally floats in the air when exposed to the atmosphere. It allows for intricate details to emerge on the sheet of glass, so the same patterns and structures can then be seen whether under the microscope or the naked eye. This is known as ‘self-similarity’ behaviour in complexity science.
The 2 images below are photographs taken of x25 magnification of 'Towers'. It shows the shadow of a grain of normal sand surrounded by the metal dust . These are the slightly darker patches in the of the pictures.
These structures can be seen at even higher magnifications but they are difficult to photograph. Most magnifiers can take a photo of the top of a sheet of paper or surface; however, in taking these photos there are 6 and 10 millimetres of glass to get through before being able to focus on the artwork which is on the other side of the glass. But it should, however, enable the viewer to see the scale of the artwork and the size of the particles of dust that I use.