For Andrew Smith, the process of making over time, has led to colour being the only real direction for his painting. Focusing on the perception of colour, his recent work explores the visual range of taut motif with colour juxtaposition that align our perception with a seemingly simple image environment.
In his recent work, Smith wanted to engage a more tonal range of hues, less dramatic perhaps and certainly less saturated. The use of chromatic grey and areas of colour that support and contrast others to maximise the
quiet potency of tertiary hue, betray a practice starting as analytic. Through realisation, however, his painting is essentially to do with the innate energy of colour. He states ‘For pictorial operation colour needs colour. The interaction of the quality of colour is the entire definition of the image’.
Despite the illusion of organisation, colour has led the way in Smith’s work and continues to do so, overriding shape and redefining the pictorial space on its own terms. His paintings evolve without pre planning. In pursuing light (sensation) even the conscious decisions to upstage the conventional fade as the painting reaches a state of fusion, something he describes as totality. At this point, when the painting is at a stage of resolution, the process has to be left because familiarity enters the arena. ‘Above all’, he stays, ‘colour
must be felt. It is something instinctive’.
‘It often feels that the work has developed on its own accord. It is true that there is a suspension of belief in the making and an unconscious state linked to instinct. When returning to the studio to review work there is a profound distance between the previous state of making and what is seen. Painting is an ordered chaos, the result of the paradox of conscious intention and un-conscious act’.
With the use of acrylic paint just prior to his departure for a residency in South Australia, paintings demonstrate Smiths’ desire for a greater flexibility in the handling of both paint and form. In embracing acrylic paint systems, varying in viscosity, spectrum and inclusive of fluorescent hues and by applying less overt geometry in the realisation of a work, this vision has been engaged. The resulting work has reconnected with saturation, vibrancy and gesture, perhaps indicating the next phase of Colourscapes.