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COAT x Marcus Aitken

OK so art may not be our regular gig, but hey we've got all the right tools for the job, right?! Ahead of London Design Festival 2022, we’ve joined forces with British-born contemporary artist, Marcus Aitken to work on a bespoke piece of art created solely using COAT paint. 

Known for his gestural paintings, Marcus uses a combination of layering, distressing and blending to present a multifaceted surface to his work. His background in design has developed his artistic style, creating cutting-edge abstract works - a no-brainer collab really. Colour features so heavily in Marcus’ work and some of our best-selling colour shades are Marcus’ 'go-to’s' as well as being key parts of his colour palette. 

Got some leftover paint? Get creative and have a go at creating your own masterpiece.

By blurring the lines between art and interiors through unique partnerships, we want to encourage customers to treat paint like they do art, in order to create a space they feel proud of. 

COAT Paints, Co-founder, Rob Abrahams said of the partnership, “At COAT, we are about helping our customers create new ways in everyday life. Having Marcus create an exclusive piece of art using COAT Paints is a real honour, we’ve long been admirers of his artistic style and we are blown away with what he’s created.”        

Fancy having your very own Marcus Aitken piece in your home? Well, we've thought about that too, grab a Limited Edition A3 Print here

We made our way to an edgy spot in East London to watch Marcus do what he does best. Working with Ciao Sofia, Brewer, 2AM, Hamilton, Screenshot and Bookstore in our Soft Sheen finish, check out this video to watch the whole process (it's seriously 'gestural')…

Feeling inspired and want to create art in your home? Whether on walls or canvases, order your swatches here

We sat down and had a chat with Marcus, taking a deeper dive into what inspired him and how he goes about creating his pieces. Go on, have a read…

Do you have a particular colour palette you like to use and why?

I definitely have a set colour palette I use in most of my work. Greens and pinks always feature heavily, but I do change it up. There's certain colours that I would say that I kind of avoid and don't use. Like, for instance, strong reds and or dark browns. Typically it's always kind of like building up from lightness to some more heavy, bolder colours.

Ciao, Sofia and Screenshot are the dream duo, grab your swatches to check them out in your space.

When you’re planning your work, is it the colour that comes first? What’s the thought process that goes behind creating each piece? 

My work is very intuitive. I'll always create a plan, but it never sticks to the plan. It will always be different to how I've imagined it in my head. But I really like that. it's never kind of what I pictured. And I could never imagine what the outcome would be. My work is abstract and it's very gestural so I think that is kind of what the work is about to not know and have a bit of unknown in the air with it.

I always have like three colours that I have in my head, which will be in the painting, but it will never just be the three colours, there will always be something else coming into it and changing how it evolves and how the finished piece comes out.

Consider the colours in your existing artwork on your walls and think about what colours pair well to really make a statement in your home. Grab a few swatches to play around with colours in real life. 

This is obviously quite a big piece (150m x 180m), do you prefer to work on a larger scale? 

That was my preference. I love painting big. I think for me, I'm a very gestural painter. That's kind of how I describe who I am and what I do. So I think going bigger scale really allows me to kind of throw myself into it. And there's really broad brush marks into the canvas and experiment and have fun with it. Having said that, I do still really like working small because it's a really challenging format, it really changes the output of what you're saying and you kind of see these little small finer details.

And for instance, a brush stroke will take up a whole half of a piece as opposed to a brush stroke on a big piece will be, you know, minor compared to that. 

Where did your love for painting and art start?

Painting's always been in the background, but when I was studying I was actually creating sculptures which were kind of again this, this is where my colour palettes from actually these really like glossy pinks and greens and really dark blues, very bold pieces that kind of then formed into a jewellery company.

Then I kind of did a 360 and sort of came back to painting again purely because I wanted something that was truly creative and allowed me to kind of express my creativity in an endless way and show you a little bit of things that, there is this to do to use one scene or like that one for the text or like how do you really see it?

Prior to what we've been doing today, I was sent a few samples of the paint, which I really like, it's really, really thick. It's almost like a ghetto paint, which is what artists use to prime the canvases. So for me that was really, really inviting and enjoyable to use, for that reason I've used the kind of sheen paint over a flat matt. 

Our soft sheen finish has a subtle sheen and is ultra durable, perfect for humid and wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms…and now art, why not?

Where do you get your inspiration from in terms of like other artists etc?

I still find a lot of inspiration from the classic kind of thing of just going to a gallery, going to a friend's exhibition and seeing what they're doing, seeing what they're painting techniques are. A lot of the painters that I follow are abstract painters, they're figurative painters. I'm interested to see how they've gone about what they're doing and how I can put their lines and their forms and take that idea into my own work.

So, it's always evolving. I mean, I think it’s useful having a phone in our hands, right? We're all big sponges at the end of the day and we just absorb information and with Instagram, you're bombarded with this information, which is great. Sometimes it's too much. But there's always an endless source of inspiration. It's just the hard thing for me is to choose what parts I pick and choose to kind of try and bring my work together. 


Get your own Limited Edition A3 Print of this piece of art on our website.

This is quite like a performance, watching you do your thing. Is that something that comes naturally to you or is that something that you thought would improve the way your piece looks?

I think my work's always been very performative.The way I kind of go about painting is very gestural and that's what it's all about. So I do literally, you know, as you see, I throw myself into the canvas, I throw myself into the brush marks because I want my viewer to almost be able to follow my brushstrokes and to see what I might have been doing, which is why I always have music on when I paint, because helps me get into that mindset. And yeah, it is a performance really, I think that kind of comes through. I hope it does anyway, and the work brings that to the space.  

Check out the full video here and shop Marcus’ prints via our website. Grab some swatches if you want to get creative yourself, whether it’s on canvas or your walls. 

 Head to Marcus' website for more info on his work.



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