Cosmic Thoughts – Starlight

“We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

There’s something infinitely powerful about horses. If you’ve ever stood so close to one as to feel it’s snorting breath, its rippling muscles and those eagle-sharp eyes, you’ve probably felt this presence. If you’re a horse owner, leisure rider, professional horseman, then you know what this feeling is all about.

It’s somewhere between calm, yet ready to spring into life at any moment. A horse is a prey animal; so it’s every fibre is ready for action, should the need arise. The universe, to me, has this same quality; a fluid, well-oiled, perfectly synchronised machine, yet hiding something tumultuous.

Perhaps these thoughts are the reasons why I painted Tower of Starlight, but perhaps these are just the inspirations I realised after. I knew what I wanted to paint, and how I wanted to paint it.


Tower of Starlight, 100 x 60cm Oils on Canvas


We (roughly) know how the universe was formed, and when.

The ‘why’ is always a bit more of a mystery.

Tower of starlight
Free-falls into the mountains
And a horse seeks warmth.

Learn more about my cosmic nature paintings.



Colour Theories: The 6 Colour Palette

Last week, I talked about getting carried away with colour, and failing to work with a plan.

This week, I’m focusing on a new piece where I did have a plan.

This time, I planned a strict 6 colour palette: cadmium yellow, burnt sienna, cadmium orange, ultramarine blue, Indian red and burnt umber.

The result is a harmonious little painting that (quality of camera aside) has subtle, changing hues and a soft pastel tone throughout. It feels like a frosty early morning scene, even though there’s no hint of sky, or even any real background cementing this horse into a setting.

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Serenity, 2016

Limiting the colour palette allowed me to think about the colours as I was adding them, and pasting them on like cake icing is always liberating.

What are your personal colour theories? What works best for you, limiting, or expanding your palette?

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