We recently invited club member and sponsor Colin Topp to give us a few of his private insights to his art, some pieces of which are in the members’ lounge. Here’s what he gave us.
‘I was first introduced to abstract art when I went to see Jackson Pollock’s “Blue Poles” at the National gallery. I was halfway through a drawing course at the time but this painting made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was so alive and full of energy and texture it seemed it was pulsating on the wall. After that all I wanted to be was an Abstract Expressionist artist painting with emotion and freedom like Pollock. I went to visit Pollock’s studio in Springs, East Hampton N.Y. and stood amongst his paints, brushes and sticks, it was an amazing experience. Pollock was a flawed genius who took abstract art post WWII in a new and exciting direction along with Mark Rothko, Franze Kline, Willem De Kooning, Clifford Still, Arshile Gorky, Ad Reinhardt & Robert Motherwell from the N.Y. school.
I lay my canvasses on the floor and drip, push and glide the ribbons of paint across the surface building up multiple layers so that you see the pigment floating between the layers. I use Acrylic & Varnish together to give me movement and light and Polymer to give me the texture. I studied under Yvonne Audette for a period and she taught me colour harmony and rhythm. Mine is a visceral art where I like the viewer to run their hands over the canvas and feel part of the painting. I very much like doing commissions where I can view the surrounds of where apiece might be hung to feel the colours and shapes that will suit that space. I build up images in my head which I later put down on canvas. My largest commission was a group of 10’ x 8’ canvasses for a printing company to hang in their foyer and meeting rooms, done in combinations of purple, black & white.
Art is a passion for me and a part of who I am and I will always be doing something . I am doing a series of colour field paintings as a tribute to Mark Rothko. They feature bands of colour depicting the four seasons and I want them to invoke a meditative quality so that when you spend time in front of them you will be drawn into the layers of colour’