‘Joy And Happiness’ by Tom Bushnell

Joy And Happiness 1


On the 1st of October 2021 I began the creation of two new paintings, in commemoration of my Online One Man Show with Hay Hill Gallery starting the next day on the 2nd of October 2021 until the end of October 2021. A few weeks previously I had purchased two Black Primed Canvases (20×20 inches) with a view to experimenting with them for the first time, as I had always only ever used White Primed Canvases to paint on before. I prepared some mixtures of Acrylic paints with Pouring Gloss Medium and water… green, red, blue, yellow, purple, orange, black and white. With no preconceived ideas in my head, I just wanted to create two beautiful paintings. After all, It was Helen Frankenthaler who said, “I would ask myself… Have I Created a Beautiful Painting?”

I started with random green swishes across each black canvas. These were followed by other random marks and swishes of different colours… sometimes overlapping each other. By the end of the day I was feeling a bit disappointed as there was no Magic or Spark happening!… Nothing Lively and Exciting had yet manifested itself! I decided to let the paintings dry over night and see how they looked the next day.

They weren’t any better… in fact they were even less inspiring because the wet and gloss of the paint had gone, in the drying process. Continuing to wrestle with the paintings throughout that day nothing was happening. I had Artists’ Block (similar to Writers’ Block) as I like to call it.

I continued to make some additions and adjustments the next day. I would stop and reflect to consider what to do next… but still to no avail! In terms of Getting Inspiration, for me it can come from many different sources… including Beautiful Music (any genre from Classical to Pop), Lovely Colour Combinations, Wonderful Quotes, Exceptional People and Stories, and Mother Nature herself!

On this occasion it came in quite an unexpected and uneventful way! I had the TV on in the background… when I suddenly heard someone say the word Purple. I don’t remember what was said before or after the word Purple. Immediately, I splashed Purple onto the paintings, almost obliterating nearly half of one of them! It worked!… Something was finally beginning to happen! PURPLE WAS THE KEY!

Then I painted yellow next to the Purple, followed by white, red, blue and some black onto various parts of the canvases. The Magic was happening!.. the paintings were coming to Life at last! The paintings were transforming themselves into something visually attractive and appealing!

I often think of Picasso’s paraphrased observation” You start off with an idea in mind and end up with something completely different”. To me that’s the Wonderful thing about abstract painting! After such a struggle early on in the painting process I was thrilled and filled with “Joy and Happiness” at the final outcome. So I called the paintings, “JOY AND HAPPINESS 1”   and “JOY AND HAPPINESS 2”

Tom Bushnell

Joy And Happiness 2

The personal online exhibition ‘In The Beginning’ of works by Tom Bushnell is held on the gallery website from the 2nd to 31st October 2021. Visit the exhibition at