This work has been around in the form of various sketches for some time now, so I was pleased to finally get around to finalising the idea and beginning the painting. Although the title of the painting was inspired by a poem, the subject was originally inspired by a Linkin Park song called 'Bleed It Out' and so the news of Chester Bennington's death whilst I was creating the painting, made it all the more poignant.
I visited Santorini in 2014, and shortly after I wrote a blog post about how the trip might influence my art. Here's an excerpt...
"Santorini offers something different to think about. Pretty much everywhere you go; you get a stunning view of the caldera, or a view of white buildings clinging to the black cliffs. There are a lot of art galleries in Santorini, although most are souvenir shops full of mass produced pictures, and this is where the difficulty comes with creating art based on places. It’s all too easy to end up with a quaint picture of how pretty the place is. I don’t really see the point in such paintings... in my opinion a photograph can capture that much better. Despite this, I did feel quite inspired after my trip... from many angles the island had a limited colour palette (shades of white and blue). The architecture, although traditional, was almost modernist and reminded me of the suprematist abstracts that I’ve been interested in of late. The challenge for me will be to see if I can capture these inspirations and depict Santorini without creating pretty souvenir pictures."
It took me a while to get around to creating the work because I wasn’t quite sure how to execute it; but my recent futurist abstract rain works inspired me to take a similar approach with a series of Santorini works. I’m pretty pleased with how they’ve turned out and hopefully I have managed to avoid making them too “souvenir style”. As always, they’ve made me think about other work I could produce in the future, particularly ways in which I can move forward with my landscape paintings.
Followers of my Facebook page will have noticed that I’ve been working on a few new rain works. The rain series is coming very naturally to me and I’m very much enjoying the playful aspect of creating the abstract works. Every new piece I create is giving me more ideas about how I can move forward with the series, as well as ideas for other work. These latest works, inspired by futurism and suprematism, have led me to other aspects of the Futurist movement that I could experiment with; especially architecture. The idea of worldbuilding has intrigued me since Minority Report piqued my interest in the idea, and it further developed with various projects I explored at university. The desire to envision what the future could look like is something I can relate to with the Futurists, (although I certainly don’t share their appetite to dismiss everything from the past!). And whilst designing the future of this world is what mostly interests me, the idea of creating new worlds entirely is also an intriguing prospect.
The ‘Rain’ series started with the influence of graphic novels, and their stylised method of storytelling, so I find it interesting and exciting that these latest abstract studies could take me “full circle” and inspire stories.