Picture Language

The Gestalt Theory of Art

Picture Language: Image and Word Association: New Image – Colour Gestalt relationships.  

Gestalt: A perceptual pattern or structure possessing qualities as a whole that cannot be described merely as a sum of its parts.

New Art: I find myself in agreement with the mantra of Calligraphy, Painting, and Poetry – as a description of an artistic programme.  I have never been able to shake off my childhood conviction that this world is a world of magic and wonder, and our existence here on this planet, and the existence of the universe itself, is somehow improbable, ultimately inexplicable and mysterious.  The imagery I use in my paintings develops in drawings which in their initial stages are made from the most straightforward of elements: from point to line, triangle, square, and circle...  I tend to work in drawing books, and complete a series of images before starting to paint.  The images are obtained by a process of automatic drawing, (taking a line for a walk!) and after completing a number of these drawings, a theme, and a subject-matter emerges and begins to impose itself, more and more, onto the white of the paper.

The images: I make are by no means exclusively abstract, but occupy that area of half-life between geometrical abstraction, and figurative painting.  Instead of meticulously painting a hand, or a foot, a head or an arm; I invent a mark or a shape that says “hand”, or says “foot” or “head”, or “arm”.

As I paint the appearance of the image changes and evolves, gradually taking on the mantle of the thoughts and emotions that first prompted me to start the work.  

Here, you will find a world of signs and archetypes that together construct our understanding of experience, a world of shifting signs and images, the tectonic plates that in their shuddering, moving, and standing still help define what it means to be human.

My paintings are therefore multilayered, non-rational, a participation in the ebb and flow of the psyche; a revelation of the under layer of mind, laid bare, depicting the worlds of the imagination.  To find and expose one’s latent motives, that which is of primary importance to the individual.

The artist’s pen gallops speedily across the paper; an ink drawing proudly proclaims its arrival.  The outcome of this activity can be either lustrous and welcoming dream or stark and afraid nightmare.  The entire artist’s inner life is revealed for all to see.  In the deeps my principal concern reveals itself to be both spiritual and carnal.  To be human at the deepest level is to be both man and beast. 


Colour: is of utmost importance in my paintings.  It is the placing of one colour next to another on a page, and exploring the different combinations possible, that first motivated me to be an artist. 

There is something extraordinary about the sensory impact colour has on the retina of the eyes, the optic nerves verily dance and quiver with excitement; the power of colour to evoke a feeling, or a mood; to enrage or to pacify.  The artist’s use of colour is his best weapon, the most versatile tool in his armoury.


I have always been fascinated by Poetic Myth and Image-Making, of using words and visual imagery to express an idea, an emotion, or some profound truth about human experience of life.  Perhaps, even sometimes to meditate on the origins of the universe; and the great imponderables of birth, life, and death.  To encapsulate in a single sentence or image all of one’s doubts and certainties, all ones surety and anxiety, joy and pain.


Picture Language: My imagination’s new departure; is Image and Word Association, New Image – Colour Gestalt relationships.  The study of the human Mind: Imagination and Memory in Experience. 

To make a psychological portrait of the inner man, it is the quality and intensity of feeling and emotion, that is all important and the directness of expression.  


To Paint: is to skilfully juggle with the visual alphabet of life and death, on a canvas to compose a great poem of universal life. 

The idea of poetry: straight away, suggests to me the idea of myth, of sacred writings, of the literature of the bards, of using language, words, and phrases, and visual imagery in a magical way.  Perhaps to summon up a deity or a demon! 

My Work is concerned with

The Human Being: what it means to be a fully developed human being with conflicting and contradictory thoughts, and emotions.

With Humanity as opposed to all those forces which oppose it and attempt to diminish or destroy it.

The development of the Mind: The marvelous functioning of thought in Experience.

The Body: as the actualization of the minds desire.

The making of Poems: to work studiously to discover a suitable subject matter from which to construct Poetry.

To develop a method that leads to the Visualization and making of Picture Poems.

I seek to recover the spontaneity of Myth Making.

I love that state which changes continually, with its incessant moving forward, stopping, and standing still, and it’s moving onward again.

I joy in the ambiguity and horror of the Mask.

I joy in the free Imagination and disapprove of constrictive Reason.

I joy in the use of strong primary colours.

To my eyes Colour is the great Hosanna and the wanted liberation.


The imaginative structure of the Work heightens the meaning of images and of all the underlying relationships.

The imaginative structure of the Work reveals the latent Gestalt sensibility.

When painting there is no conflict between Spontaneity and Order – both are essential.

The Order gives a context so Spontaneity has meaning.

The resolution of a Work is to be found in the relationship between Spontaneity, Order, and Meaning.

Visual Art
Creative Thinking