It’s that time again, post summer... during the year I’m in the studio most days, not all days but most days, until the 6 weeks of summer when I have my grandson with me (they have long holidays in Barcelona) I manage some quick drawings but that’s about it. Then suddenly it’s over and I can get back in, the days are there, but that seems to be the trouble, I have time. It’s a week now and almost every little job I can think of has been done, but stepping over that threshold has been nigh impossible. It’s called procrastination?...... or fear. All those thoughts and ideas that were tripping over themselves to get out at the beginning of the summer, have just disappeared. Dried up like a summer rain puddle, or gone into the air like the whiffs of smoke from a dying fire. Have I really forgotten how to paint? The door of the studio becomes the entrance to a large dark chamber. At times like this I’m always put in mind of Ivon Hitchens, whom I’m told was a great procrastinator, that he used to spend all morning deciding which part of the wood he was going to paint, then amassing his canvases, paints and brushes in his wheelbarrow but by the time he was all ready it invariably started to rain. It must be said however that many of his canvases, once in place were completed very quickly, often in a day or even less. This is not a bad thing when dealing with the English weather. I have no such excuse. I do envy those painters who take off all over the world and paint, I’m at odds if I’m out of my daily rhythm.
Painting the figure is always a challenge and these most recent are quite a deviation from my normal figures. I have always been interested more in the gesture than the facial likeness of a person. I think gesture... the leaning of the body, the holding of the head, the shoulders, how a person holds their arms even, can tell us so much. My figures are usually “agender”- figures that have neither male nor female characteristics. This latest series however are not so ambiguous, gender and even facial expression have become evident.
They are about human tensions, about waiting, about total powerlessness. Some people think they’re rather intimidating, and I can see that but they evince a truth.