Party No 1
101 x 76 cms 1995
This painting began as a complete frieze of figures across the bottom, house up the side, Hills hoist behind and sea behind that, but before long I completely changed the idea by reducing the figures, adding the gallows-like pergola and hanging basket, then ripping it down the middle, after which the painting took on a life of its own, the party hats got added and I dropped the corner away as well.
All my paintings start with an idea that I lay out on the canvas and diligently colour in, after which it becomes apparent in which areas the idea itself is not enough, and I go on and on at it until the painting itself creates its own dynamic (irrespective of my preconceptions) and sort of drags me to a conclusion, one 'finished' area leading onto the next very much like a jigsaw puzzle. Whole lumps of what I had previously considered 'finished' painting can get destroyed in the process. It takes a very long time, during which I sometimes despair of ever reaching a conclusion but eventually the painting become separate from 'me' and is finished.