It was Carole’s birthday a few weeks ago, and as part of our celebrations, we went to an event called Paint Jam. The session had a David Bowie theme, and after being led through a few simple introductory exercises, we were given a canvas and encouraged to experiment.
I made this picture using acrylic paint. First I applied the paint using a wooden canvas spacer. It felt odd not using a brush at first, and I began to enjoy the more random nature of how the paint got from the implement to the surface.
Once I had created the grid of rectangle shapes, I took a broad brush, wet it, and dragged the watery brush across the surface in a single zigzag swoop. Once the paint dried I took the canvas home where I varnished the centre band of the canvas. I applied three coats, and when it catches the light, the shine looks really good.
What to call this work? I’ve been pondering this question for days, and unusually all I get in return is silence. So I asked friends to suggest a title for this painting…in all I got almost 50 responses. Here they are, along with a few subsequent exchanges between me and some of the kind contributors.
Eva-Maria Griese: Bowie, flash, lightning…? That’s pretty obvious though
Doug Shaw: Perhaps no surprise, this work was started at a Bowie themed evening, and I finished it at home.
Grahame Baker: Hi rise cheer?
Doug Shaw Nice. I see where you’re coming from. I enjoy offering things like this up for opinion and ideas. I’ve been stuck on what to call this for a while and these exchanges help free things up.
Victorio Milian: “Rainbow blitzkrieg”
Doug Shaw: The Ramones would be proud of you.
Stephanie Barnes: Have you tried asking it what its name is?
Doug Shaw: That’s the only conversation me and the painting have been having for weeks. I figured we’d got stuck and needed counselling, hence the ask!
Stephanie Barnes: I have three thoughts: Shazam (which is probably trademarked or copyrighted), breaking the monotony, or making a path
Doug Shaw: Great stuff. The path idea has also surfaced on Instagram and I am drawn to it. Thank you.
Heather Bussing: Sky scrape
Doug Shaw: How about that!? I only used one brush stroke in the whole thing, and it was quite nerve wracking for me, making that big mark right at the end. All the rest of the paint was applied by scraping the surface with a wooden canvas stretcher.
Elliot Merrony: Bowie x Physical Graffiti
Colin Newlyn: Ziggy played guitar
Doug Shaw: When the kids had killed the man I had to break up the band.
John Sumser: BrickSit
Doug Shaw: 😂 Love it!!
George LaRocque: Shazam
Mary Faulkner: Winner!!!
Michael Heller: #HROSBrit cc: Lars Schmidt
Philip Dodson: Postage stamps from Mars
Jason Seiden: Career Path
Sharlyn Lauby: “Wake up call”
Kirstie Johnson: “Bolt”
Jo Cook: Zig a zig ah. Sorry, made me laugh🙂
Fred Eck: How about the Shaw Slash!
Grahame Baker: The Shaw slash redemption?
Fred Eck: Love it!!!
Tony Mason: Electric red white and blue……
Annabelle Lambert: Bowie tower
Mark Farquar: Turner For the love of Zorro.
Paula Turner: Lighting is……..
Bina Briggs: Ziggy Stardust! X
Richard Martin: Loot Chute
William Tincup: Schutzstaffel?
Marco Fandango: Picture no. 53
Matthew Stollak: Waffle Sevens
Josh Rock: “2 Minutes for Slashing”
Ade Bird: Rest in pieces.
Gavin Collinson: Chair in the window.
Padraic Doorey: Cafe Rouge-baix
Claire Boyles: Dot dot dash
David Lambert: ‘s grate
Lesley Dodson: Zorro escapes!
Kirstie Tribe: Carpet burn
Steve Browne: I’d go avant garde and call it McTavish on the Plain !!
Heather Kinzie: Just a Splash
Kevin W. Grossman: Shazam-skiddish
Paul Hebert: For the bin
Barry Flack: “Four storeys high”….say what you see…..
Jayne Harrison: Crossing Dimensions, or Choices, or Infinite Possibilities
Shayna Joson: Use Your Vote
Circle Indigo: Aladdin Insane
Meg Peppin: Zag
Diane Taylor-Cummings: Seven
I’m grateful to everyone for the suggestions. I’m still not yet sure what to call this piece of work, and what’s been really useful so far about all this feedback, is that it’s opening my mind to possibilities I hadn’t previously seen. Thank you. I’ll update this post once a name is chosen.