Leonardo da Vinci urged artists to search for inspiration in the dirt on walls or the streaked patterns in stones. In the same way I have found that the accidental blot, the chance mark, or the naturally occurring stain can be a starting point for my art. Controlled accidents play a part in my paintings. Sometimes I allow oil and water based paints to react so as to create a natural fracturing. This process creates patterns through a process which echo those found in nature such as the splitting of a lighting bolt, or the way in which a river delta divides into many different streams. Other controlled accidents occur when paint is splashed or scraped across a surface. Painting an abstract image is like feeling your way in the dark. I carefully plan each stage before it is executed. For example, when choosing colour combinations I will make several small sketches to try out various options. I work on several paintings at a time, sometimes a painting will take months to complete. Seeing a half finished painting, after a few days break, provides a key moment to make decisions on the what to do next.
To see my current paintings go to www.nigelshipley.com