Artist of the week Carol Burns

Unfinished Blue 111

This week our artist of the week is Cornwall based abstract artist Carol Burns. “Can you tell us about your abstract work and more generally the artistic influences upon it?”

Abstract art is about having a strong emotional reaction to colour and texture. It sounds simple enough – if they perfectly balance the painting will please the eye. But done badly it will irritate. My abstract art takes its inspiration from the natural and built world, everything is up for grabs: the ocean, the human body, shadows on a building etc. I love the way colours will interact and how balance is achieved. I am inspired by Joan Miro, Mark Rothko, JMW Turner and the audacity of Yves Klein with his International Klein Blue. Unfinished (blue) III (2020) is a painting of texture and depth.

Can you tell us more about it’s creation and the specific techniques you used in its making?

Oil paint as a medium is a vital component to my work. There is a real alchemy to it. In my art practice I will manipulate colour directly onto the surface, bending it, mixing it, building it up and scraping it away until there is only a trace of pigment left. Blue is an incredible colour to work with, it reflects the light in so many ways -and it is incredibly ethereal – it surrounds us everywhere on this planet, but you can’t touch it.  

Unfinished Red

Unfinished (red) I (2020) is inspired by the emergence of Autumn. How important are the seasons to you and how do they influence your work? “

A visual artist should be inspired by everything they see and I think the seasons – especially in Cornwall – offer an incredible change in light, in colour and in texture. Things start to get messy and dark as the autumn wears on, but it also has these incredible bursts. Their rarity – whether light, sunset or an vibrant autumnal flora/fauna – makes them all the more startling. 

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