About Synapses

I don’t want to start explaining my paintings, that would be an admission of failure as a visual artist. Perhaps, though, the background thinking that leads to their production and some of the processes that contribute to the final form might be interesting, especially in the instances of my larger studio paintings.

I primarily paint in the open air, fragments of landscape that are rich in texture and colour. Trees and their scale, diversity, structure and colour are, I find, particularly engaging. For instance it’s amazing how their branches cantilever out from the trunk so incredibly far as though they are trying to reach out to their neighbours. The mechanical strength in those branches must be immense. They’re actually trying to get their leaves maximum exposure to sunlight meaning there’s a process going on, not just random growth. I like this idea of trees networking and they remind me of images and diagrams I’ve seen of brain cells and the nervous system, nature likes an efficient pattern. On a quiet afternoon while manning an exhibition at a Bristol gallery I was doodling on my iPad with music by Philip Glass playing in my headphones. Letting my drawing finger reflect the arpeggios and rhythmic structures of Glass’s composition I randomly selected colours and produced shapes. One of the doodles reminded me of the idea of relating tree branches to the nervous system and so the painting began.

It was one of those paintings that could go in a number of different directions. The palette of colours relate back to my location paintings and the form of the painting was to grow in complexity as I applied paint. All the paint strokes were waves like the doodle and I played my entire collection of Philip Glass music, as I worked, to maintain the feel of the inspiring doodle. The colours were quite random at first only guided by the idea that the top of the painting was like sky and the lower part like land. As I added to the painting bit by bit over weeks that became months, the colours modulated making a more defined structure.

Synapses is a painting in oil colours on canvas. It is 800mm square and framed in a hand coloured tray frame. A limited edition of 50 full size, archive quality giclée prints is available.

You can see the painting with price options at:


Synapses by Stuart Nurse

Synapses by Stuart Nurse

3 responses to “About Synapses

  1. An interesting painting. Philip Glass-influenced! I think it is fine to give background info when you post paintings on blogs, as it fits into the blogging context. I have a few on my blog and I usually have a sentence or two giving at least a context.

  2. Pingback: A never ending story? | Stuart Nurse·

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