Blog Post: Michael Cox


Aylesbury II (Latimer), 2016, Oil on canvas

Blog Post: Michael Cox


14 November 2016

I always thought black was a strange colour. It’s not really a colour (apparently), rather a tone or absence of light. Traditionally, black has been associated with the unknown and darkness, where the opposite, white, has been attributed to lightness.

To me this kind of makes it a bit mysterious; looking at shadows, they’re not really ‘black’ but maybe very dark shades of a given colour.

To try and use black in painting is something I’ve found quite difficult, it just stands out too much, and can look too artificial. Black seems to suck the life out of everything in close proximity, true black anyway, but is paint truly black? I don’t know.

A tutor at art school told me to never use black straight from the tube, but rather mix colours with it, like crimson or Prussian blue.

This is what I mean, I don’t really know much about black, but lots of things are black. Book covers, wires, shoes, clothes. They’re all the same ‘colour’, but they all look so different.

Shadows seem to have this strange intensity to them. The intensity comes from the feeling of not knowing what’s through a shadow, because all kinds of descriptive powers are lost when things are cast in black.