‘Green Barn, Suffolk’ was painted through the late summer/autumn 2018 on to cardboard packaging from an Ikea delivery. Several other works are on the same material. I have no idea whether it lasts well or not, but it is a great surface to paint on. It also costs nothing – a not entirely negligible factor in these days of increasingly expensive canvases. Anyway, potential longevity is of little interest to this painter for whom the ‘performance of painting’, the actual experience of making the work, is the important part of painting.
This painting was an especially enjoyable ‘performance’. For once I knew exactly my objective: to create a work primarily of deep, rich yellow. The simple framework for this was supplied by an actual view from beside the modern A144 road (the Roman road ‘Stone Street’) near the parish church of Ilketshall St Andrew between Halesworth and Bungay (lovely Suffolk names). Up a slight slope was a large field with a barn on a skyline – and that was it. I cut out much extraneous detail and just concentrated on working up the space provided by the field into a deep, rich yellow. To this end, and over several weeks, I used up much of my remaining yellow pigments from happy forays to the old quarries and excellent modern shop at Roussillon in France: some 8 or 9 layers of slightly different yellow ochres were used to produce this thick, un-lemony yellow.