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  • Writer's pictureAnna Curston

Making new paintings and exploring new colours.

Hello! I appear to have fallen off the bandwagon of posting... once again, but I am finally here again and writing. I admit I’ve been quite burnt out from working, so something had to give and blogging was sadly it. Since I last wrote to you, we had an incredible aurora show right here in the UK! Which I missed (no one is sadder than I!!) And I also got reunited with my telescope which I have been separated from since 2018. (Naturally the nights are currently very bright and I've had mostly cloud, not ideal for stargazing.) I may have been absent from posting, but I still been painting, and I have made two new paintings (the beginning of my Jupiter series that I mentioned starting in my last post)!

Those Aren’t Stars – Acrylic on canvas – 50 x 100 cm – May 2024

A rectangular, abstract acrylic painting on canvas. A mix of geometric shapes and expressive paint marks in vibrant colours on a dark background. Abstract Space Art inspired by Jupiter.

Those Aren’t Stars is the first of the series, inspired by Galileo’s 1610 observations of what we now call the Galilean Moons. This painting is fairly unique among my work in that it is on a rectangular surface (and on canvas). Only one other of my abstract pieces (Giant Impact Hypothesis – can been found in the Gallery) has been rectangular, it isn’t a shape I often feel drawn to. For this idea however, it was the only shape that really made sense.

The title leans into the initial observations of Galileo when he thought he had spotted a chance alignment of Jupiter and 4 stars. Upon coming back to observe the planet on repeated nights however, it became clear that they were not stars, but in fact, moons of Jupiter. Jupiter had things in orbit around it, ergo: not everything orbits the Earth!

Into the Cloudtops – Acrylic on board – 60.96 x 60.96 cm – June 2024

A square, abstract acrylic painting on board. A mix of geometric shapes and expressive paint marks in vibrant greens and purples on a deep purple and black background. Abstract Space Art inspired by Jupiter.

Introducing the second painting in my current series of work: Into the Cloudtops. This painting stemmed from my fascination with the idea of mushballs in Jupiter’s atmosphere (ammonia-water hail stones) and the shallow lightning that the Juno probe found with it. The concept of the painting is the violent and absurd: The Jovian Cloudtop, and what you uncover as you begin to delve deeper inside. It considers, violence, light, strangeness and the idea of a slightly mushy, squelchy feeling between your fingers. Perhaps it will say something different to you, but that is what this painting is to me. I admit, that I also find myself somewhat transfixed by the colours I chose, I love how they sit together in the painting.

On the subject of colour, this new series is also exploring a new technique (for want of a better word). My ‘signature’, if you like, is colour and white on a black background (makes sense with the space theme, space is dark, light is bright) however I am branching out. I am still choosing dark colours, and using black and white for that dramatic contrast that I crave, however the background colour that I am building upon is a colour, not black. I am really enjoying exploring this avenue, it feels fresh and exciting while still feeling true to the drama that I love to create. And, with more paintings in conception as we speak, I can’t wait to see where this goes. All other ‘changes’ I’ve tried in the last year and a half (ish) have felt a bit forced and unnatural, like doing something different for the sake of it, but this feels right.

Hopefully I’ll be back with more exciting painting updates soon, but until then…

Stay Curious and Creative!


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