Calm Within Chaos
Calm Within Chaos began on a whim, a serendipitous experiment that had me stumble onto something great. Something that allowed my artistic self to explore both the fluidity of the mediums but also the duality of light and dark, calm and chaos.
While this series contains a range of subjects (from betta fish to barn owls), each piece has one thing in common - natural subjects emerging out of a fluid and shifting environment, seemingly amorphous yet solid at the same time. Their physical forms shift like smoke, easing into tendrils of paint that flow like rivers and streams.
The techniques I use to create this series are unpredictable and at times moody, the paint seemingly having a mind of its own. Acrylic paint mixed with fluid mediums are poured over a canvas and then tilted and twirled to create these incredible organic textures that just aren’t quite possible to render in any other way. The paint is then let to dry undisturbed, and the final texture is revealed hours later. Even during the drying process the paint has a way of traveling and morphing, almost unrecognizable from its previous wet self a few hours earlier.
Once dry, it was time to “tame the beast” (or maybe the beast tamed me?). I always went into a fluid acrylic pour with an idea of what I wanted to paint, but the challenge of this style is that I am forced to be flexible and agile - the final painting is often far different from how I envisioned it at the start.
Working lightly with chalk or a pastel pencil, I started to sketch in the features of my subject. This required a balance that took many times to perfect, I had to build a foundation that worked with the fluid paint, rather than against it. The finished animal needed to look like it was part of the paint, born of it, not like a sticker superimposed over the fluid paint. This begins a winding journey of “a little detail here”, and “a little blending here”, going back and forth for hours until a spirit emerged from the paint.
Even the process reflects my intention for this series - an exploration of the balance between calmness and chaos. It was about finding yourself in an active and busy world, brimming with stimulation, threatening to overwhelm you, and finding the deep breath inside you that stills the anarchy. It’s about finding Calm Within Chaos.
Want to add some calmness to still the chaos in your own living space?
Prints are a great affordable way to add the spark of magic to your home, you can find them below.