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A Positive Take on Negative Painting

Over the past 20 years I’ve learned the way to bring out the excitement and beauty of paints is by really “mixing it up” - texture, layers, surfaces pigments, tints and tones.

I’m a “negative painter” – that doesn’t mean I’m morose or moody – it simply means that I specialize in painting the spaces around around the object rather than the object itself.

Most artists paint in the positive by adding shapes and layers on top of each other to create the form but my subtractive approach means that the original transparent pigment layers are kept fresh and clean, even though my paintings might have 20 or more layers.

I particularly love portraying the backlit patterns of tangled leaves or light bouncing off a stream through the reeds and wildflowers.

The diagram below shows my process.


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