oil on canvas, 200 x 150cms
I’ve spent all my evenings in the last week working on this new large painting. I think it’s finished for now. I just need to live with it a while.
I’ve really enjoyed doing it, despite feeling rather agitated each day while I have waited to get back to it. It has presented me with many different technical and formal problems: from the drawing and painting of the lorry and its cargo to deciding how to paint the background, particularly the stripes on the architecture behind. This has gone through a few different stages: from staining the canvas with the green and rubbing back to a very expressive ground I had applied, which is now virtually hidden, before being painted much more directly, wet into wet, with the canvas on its side. I worked from top to bottom rather than left to right with a particular sized brush matching the required width of the bands. which seemed an easier gesture to control when painting them. That was fun.
The following three evenings were spent carefully developing the painting: breaking up the bands so they didn’t whizz off the edges so much, almost like improving my sentence structure or using more punctuation; to adjusting the colour and tonal values of everything; simplifying some areas; trying to activate other ones; being bolder then stepping back again; improving the drawing of the lorry’s cargo time and time again. There are hundreds of little decisions you make to try and give it some legs to stand up on its own.