North Sea and Clouds, 2016. Acrylic on panel. 84cm diameter
There is a convention that paintings are generally rectangular, a convention so ingrained that making a painting any other shape seems wilful and provocative. Maybe a circular surface has more in common with how we inhabit and see the world but it remains an awkward thing to try to paint.
I started this painting with a clear idea, and a smaller complete painting, but lost my way for quite a time before finding the painting in a place much closer to the original drawings than I had been looking.
I think I started this painting around the 20th November, so I have been working on it for about 4 weeks (it seems longer) and it is currently resting. I do try not to close things off too soon with any painting.
I don’t tend to work with many colours. For this painting:
Titanium White, Ultramarine, Raw Umber, Phthalo Green, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Alizarin Crimson.
In the studio if it is not Radio 4 then it is mostly silent. My music listening is done in the car and at home.
During this painting:
Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave
Hell or High Water by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Heroes by Bowie
Frank’s Wild Years by Tom Waits
Bad as Me by Tom Waits
Gorillaz by Gorillaz
If on a Winter’s Night… by Sting
Magic Whip by Blur
Grinderman by Grinderman
‘Sno Angel like You by Howe Gelb
Reading during this painting:
Wildwood by Roger Deakin
The Book of Tides by William Thomson
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
Crow by Ted Hughes
and Derek Mahon’s poems
Exhibitions seen during this painting:
Abstract Expressionism at The RA. Two visits (the second to see again the de Koonings, the David Smith sculptures and the late Guston)
Tate Modern Switch House and Tanks, mainly to see the building.
The Land – paintings by Michael Goodey at The Minories, Essex