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Bandit (61 x 43.5 cm)

In this semi-abstract, vivid painting, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the cockpit of a fighter plane, where a disaster is occurring in front of the pilot’s eyes. Directly in front of the aircraft a plane is on fire and is only seconds away from contact. The pilot has just ejected. It appears as if this is a time of war.

The artist has used the ‘rule of thirds’ in this composition, both laterally and vertically, thus creating nine sections on the canvas. The plane’s central, upright frame is placed on the left vertical line, where it intersects with the top of the control panel that has been placed on the lower horizontal line, a third of the way up the canvas.

The bright palette with brilliant, red paint cannot be avoided. Red colour seems to be smeared over the cockpit. To achieve this effect the artist used a round brush, fully loaded with red paint, and applied swift, strong strokes to the canvas. It takes on the appearance of blood. The swift, small swirls of yellow-orange paint in the right window pane of the plane represent fire. By applying quick flicks of pink paint from a small, round brush, tiny, leaping tongues of fire have been created. The jagged, white brushstrokes on the left window pane, represent light and add to the tension. They are balanced by the white tints of various shapes in the foreground that represent parts of the control panel. Meanwhile all of this action is set against a blue sky that is relatively calm in contrast. Vertical, transparent strokes on the central, green section of the painting represent buildings. Here the cool colours indicate life is harmonious.

Attention has been paid to detail in this dramatic painting, and the mood is one of uncertainty.

Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)

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