This particular board probably went through more changes than any other work I’ve ever done. There are remnants of about 5 different paintings in this, each one was radically different to the next and a couple were even considered finished at some point. Finally after 12 months of sporadic interest, multiple rotations in orientation and complete abandonment, about 2 weeks ago I dug it out again and removed about 95% of the paint.
From this stripped-back state with only stained pigment in patches of the wood, I was able to make out a new landscape in what remained. A landscape that had in no way been painted or planned previously, yet it instantly reminded me of the immediate environment around where we live. I was then able to add subtle, faded colour to what I saw and bring out features of this landscape.
The final work, at least to me, is the best I have done in a very long time. Many a day I have stared at the basketball backboard in the park and marvelled at how it breaks up the enormous mountain range behind it. Then again after it rains and loved how it is mirrored in puddles on the wet concrete. This work intuitively brings together the environment I live in, as well as the geometric forms and more organic fluidity of painting. In its working it is loose and uncontrolled as well as finely detailed and precise. In short it sums up everything I like about painting. It hits a balance I only very rarely achieve.
I could not have made this immediately, or deliberately. I could not have made it without time, experience, accident, cameras, computers, walking my dog and for the first time even Instagram. Beyond that, there is only the inexplicable and almost illogical motivation that somehow keeps me continuing to return to painting.
Untitled (Park) 2016 Acrylic polymer, oil, colour pencil, pigment ink on board. 100 x 80cm