Two canvases are on the boil at the moment.
The oblong canvas immediately below is only about half done and is not turning out as intended. It could be an abstract in the making, with colours in swathes diagonally across the surface, and I’m quite happy with that; but in my mind it is based on the over-familiar ‘bird’s-eye view’ of a landscape. What I am trying to express is the layering of the landscape immediately below the present surface of the land. The present surface of the canvas is the fourth layer of paint applied to it, and some of the features of those earlier layers, such as prehistoric burial mounds, are showing through; but not as I want them to. I’m now waiting for it to dry completely and then I can sandpaper it again. We’ll see where we go from there, and meanwhile, as I daily await the arrival of six new canvases, I can start playing around with ideas for some more works.
The second painting, below, may in contrast be finished but I’m just letting it ‘cook’ for the time being. It began life as a completely different picture, but took this form on the day recently when the police announced that the total number of individual victims they could identify in Grenfell Tower was 71.
This photograph of it is slightly on the dark side, but not by much: it is dark painting, mainly black and grey, meant to be sombre. The reds obviously represent fire, going deep down into the earth (or reaching up from the fiery deep if you prefer). Not surprisingly, the painting is simply called ‘Grenfell’. I don’t often paint pictures directly related to, or indeed arising directly from, current events – indeed I can only think of three, two of them ‘inspired’ by terrorist attacks in London and Paris respectively. I seem as a painter to occasionally react to events which are unambiguously evil.