Do you break the rules and question what you’re told? Color theory is all good, but it’s a bit dull. There’s a lot of history to learn from, but it shouldn’t be used as a rule book. To Ian Davenport, in art rules can be changed, so do it. Colors and light, like food, are more about our senses than our rationale so sticking to the rules of color theory isn’t necessarily appropriate. Painters have less room to play than for example sculptures who have much more materials to use. But in the 21st century painters have much more materials to choose from that enable them to experiment with surfaces. And Ian wants to explore them. Ian mixes his paints, using acrylics, lacquers and other industrial materials to experiment and find the best consistencies for his paintings. His paints drip along the surface and puddle at the bottom. He needs to make paint flow properly over the canvas or other surfaces he uses and to create puddles at the end and this can’t be done with just any paint. In this way his paintings become very physical.
Less is more. Ian Davenport simplifies his use of color, being monochromatic and multi-colored at the same time. He chooses to use creamy colors, and his colors are carefully made to achieve the right nuance. They’re impossible to pin down. He has to explore different colors values next to each other on color sketches to find the right sequences for his pieces before he actually starts working on the final piece. He’s also inspired by older paintings (see above), trying to keep the feel of the original painting through only it’s colors. And to show contrast he experiments with matt versus glossy effects. Experimenting, abandoning the cause in his approach, can be scary. You have to believe in serendipity to do it.