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Colour Block – Abstract Paintings

It is not uncommon to overhear visitors in a gallery or museum exclaiming with unshakeable confidence: “I could easily have painted that myself!” when looking upon an abstract painting.

Everyone can appreciate the skill and technique of a classic painting, but when it comes to abstraction or colour block compositions, it is all too easy to jump to a conclusion of simplicity, when in reality, the piece in question involves significant thought and complexity.

Kandinsky, the father of abstract art, spent most of his life investigating and experimenting with colour. He reached the conclusion that “colour is a power which directly influences the soul”.

Sir Terry Frost was a leading artist in the British abstract art movement. Based in Cornwall, Frost was renowned for his interpretation of the Cornish light and colours.

His collage work entitled ‘Halzephron’ is derived from the old Cornish name of a beach entitled ‘Hell’s Cliffs’.

It is fascinating to see how Sir Terry Frost interpreted the colours and shapes of this dramatic landscape, delivering this bold collage composition as the final product.  To read more about collage technique, visit our blog post on ‘creativity in isolation’ HERE.

Frost is known for his joyful work incorporating all colours in the spectrum, including white.  His work, ‘Halzephron’ sits in the reception area of Ham Yard Hotel opposite a colour-blocked collage by Sandra Blow, entitled ‘Inside Story, Split Second, Side Effect and Through and Beyond’.

The effect of these large bright collages hung on top of our hot pink and orange ‘RikRak‘ hand-painted linen is striking and joyful. The composition and scale of the paintings, alongside a colour-blocked blue and yellow armchair, transforms the landing into a vibrant and significant space.

In Crosby Street Hotel’s lobby, a Callum Innes painting entitled ‘Exposed Painting Cadmim Orange, 2008’ – a composition in orange and black – adds colour and draws your eye through the space.

A non-figurative block colour composition can have a big impact on a space: by making a classic room look more contemporary, giving joy to a neutral composition, or just adding a bit of drama when required!

We challenge you to paint your own abstract paintings or, using the tips we provided last week, prepare your own collage using whatever surrounds you as inspiration – this may be your garden, living room or even your pet.  You might end up with a beautiful artwork to add to your walls!

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