[39] Basil Beattie

I wanted to include Basil Beattie’s large gestural abstract paintings as a reference for my work because I feel his use of colour and line could correlate with my own work. The below image of his abstract painting named ‘Magic City’ makes me think that he has used his abstract style to create a cityscape which is impossible and uncontrolled. Similarly to my landscapes, he has used block colours which could be large scale buildings found in a city. His thick black lines mimicking triangle and circles are repeated which could be a representation of repeated buildings found in a City. The minimal use of colours and blank areas shows an exploration of space and forms which evolve around the painting.

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Basil Beattie “Magic City” 1987

This painting caught my eye because of the technique in which the paint has been used, the scraping effect is really effective as it gives a sense of movement. The colours are organic making me think that this piece is based on natural forms, the black paint isn’t too bold giving the shape more of a three-dimensional effect. The shapes had been repeated and stacked on top of each other, giving a growing sense.

“The work was like ‘nature’ not so much in appearance but in the manner by which it was made, where gravity and the consistencies of paint were fundamental in the forming of the image.”


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Basil Beattie “Witness V” Oil and wax on canvas (1992)

The last two paintings are made much later than the others, the use of colour and lines are really exciting and boost vibrancy. The colours contrast each other creating a sense of depth, the squiggly lines he has adopted in these paintings give a feel of an unrestricted freedom whilst painting.  This is a technique I wish to adopt whilst creating my more natural representations on my boards, to promote a more uncontrolled use of paint.

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Basil Beattie “Untitled (detail)” 2011


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Basil Beattie






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18 years old, first year fine art student in Cardiff :)

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