Experiments day 1

Gerhard Richter at the Marian Goodman Gallery London

Today I felt like making some experimental work to see if it would lead anywhere. I had decided to take a primed piece of plywood and draw long straight lines from edge to edge using a set square. Many artists and designers have used this technique of using long, thin, straight lines of various colours such as Bridget Riley and Paul Reed Smith. However, I recently saw an exhibition of Gehard Richters work at the Marian Goodman Gallery London (pictured left). This exhibition contained several of his inkjet printed line works. These are made up of thousands of thin straight lengths of colour on a computer based design program and then printed out on a very large scale using inkjet printers. I do not particularly have a desire to work in the medium of digital prints but I liked the aesthetic qualities of these large scale works and the disorientating effect they have on the viewer.


Using my large collection of water based markers I started making these long straight lines on my primed board. I had no real intention of copying Richters work but I did enjoy both the process and the outcome of this task. The lines had a similar quality to the larger scale Richter works but on a smaller intimate basis. I really liked this aesthetic and the white spaces either side of the lines where not intentional but they seemed to give the lines a space to breath which was not in the Richter works.

I then decided to add another band of coloured lines at a 90 degree angle to the original lines. This gave the experiment an interesting look that seemed to play on perspective. I then decided to add some small coloured squares and rectangles using acrylic paints. Some of these were applied using very watered down paint applied to areas segregated with masking tape for a clean sharp edge.

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The pastel like colours of the long straight markered lines seemed to be complimented by the washed out acrylic rectangles and this was something I felt I could develop further. The picture to the left has several much stronger coloured rectangles but these just did not work for me as the seemed a bit too prominent.

I now started thinking that there was an interesting play between the long straight lines and the coloured squares. However, I didn’t feel that this was a strong enough aesthetic to work on its own but I thought I could perhaps make several similar works all possessing a similar theme which would work on better as a collection of pieces rather than a singular painting.


I made up a smaller panel using more lines created with the markers. This time I selected the colours of the lines randomly and I also made the band of lines much thicker. On this smaller panel the the band of lines was too thick and overpowering. The colours of the lines was also not very appealing and certainly not as attractive as the colours used in the earlier larger work.

I laid both these works on the kitchen floor in an arrangement where the smaller band of lines was used as a motif to link the two works together. Although the two works were very experimental and I made some bad choices of what colurs to use and where they did have some really interesting points. I loved the band of lines in the top work and the subdued colours I selected to make up the lines. I also like the subtle rectangles that mirrored the colours of the lines as well as the concept of producing a collection of paintings that shared a common theme and these would be hung together in the form of a installation.

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