When Things Are Grey

November 22nd, 2015 / No Comments »

It’s intriguing how certain experiences can result in a new work of art.  Earlier this year I was going through a period of extreme frustration related to a failed relationship.  One evening I was at my studio listening to Nine Inch Nails and having a glass of whisky.  I decided to make a drawing to process the emotions I was feeling.  An idea quickly emerged as I began making random marks on the paper.

pencil on paper, 14.5"x19.5"

This is the drawing that resulted.  It does a good job of capturing how I felt at the time.  I was feeling trapped and unable to access a different path from the one I found myself on.  My agitated state of mind, combined with the music and whisky, resulted in a rather interesting drawing.  Perhaps it might work as a painting, I thought.


Once a year the paint manufacturer Gamblin Artists Colors cleans their air filtration system and makes a special grey paint from the mixture of pigments they capture.  Gamblin calls this paint Torrit Grey and they give it to artists who purchase their paints.  They also hold an annual online Torrit Grey competition for painters.  Entrants may only use the colors Torrit Grey, black, and white in their work.  I decided my drawing of the interlacing roads would make a good candidate to paint in greyscale.


I began working on my underdrawing.  Normally I paint on stretched canvas, but in this case I wanted to work at a fairly large size so I decided to tack my canvas to the wall.  I left a border around the perimeter to allow my canvas to later be stretched onto a frame.  It took several days to refine my drawing.  After this was completed, I began painting over my preliminary drawing with oils, allowing the graphite to mix with the paint.  The painting began surprisingly fast.  I was able to complete the lower half in about a day.  The rest of the painting, however, took quite a while longer.



The finished work proved quite popular.  Not long after it was completed, the painting was purchased by a collector in Switzerland.  I therefore needed to construct a stretcher frame, which took several days to complete.  The painting was then assembled on site.


My painting now hangs on the wall of its new home.  I’m pleased with how well it looks in the space.  It fills the wall perfectly.


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