66 cm x 66 cm, oil paints on linen canvas.
Date produced: 1986 - 1987, while living at Christies Beach (1986-1987).
This is one of my very favourite paintings. The original idea for it was developed as a pastel drawing on brown paper, from another pastel drawing carried out on-site one sunset. The square shape and placement of the sun in the exact centre of the square are deliberate compositional choices. I wanted a mesmerising sun, a sun which provides our daylight, a sun which is the centre of all life (and thus meaning) in our world.
I wanted a simple composition, a kind of classical symbol with a strong statement. So we have the sky, the sea, the approaching night, and the sun with its brilliant, warm radiance. Light is broken down into pure, simple colours (I actually found that the subtle tone of the colours was vitally important for the sense of radiation), applied with deliberate radiating strokes. I have only used round strokes within the sun itself.
Two oil paint versions of this concept were developed at the same time. A small version (it had to be transported interstate) was developed as a 21st birthday present for one of my brothers. The other hung in my flat at West Beach. It looked so good there that I left it with the flat when I moved out, as a gift to my landlady. It was a very pleasing version, displayed at my first solo exhibition. At my new home, I developed a second generation version which didnt seem to work at all. After leaving the painting for about 12 months, I decided to start again, fresh, over this second attempt. After many months of trials and restarts I arrived at a very pleasing result, possibly better than the first ones. I was very happy with the balance of colours and the overall tone. The paint is quite thick and that helps the impact of the radiating strokes. The yellows and oranges are mixes of genuine Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red pigments - very expensive and toxic, but superb in their purity and brightness of colour.
The real painting is so much better than the reproduction shown here!