Monday, 20 November 2006


I've spent a lot of time just looking at a small picture today. It started life as a picture of Scottish moorland, a field stretching away to hills disappearing in mist, but it never completely convinced me.

A few days ago, I happened to be standing near it and in my hands was an inkjet print of a sky photographed from the window of Stately Zip Mansion. The two came together in my mind and within a minute or so, I was blocking in this new sky on top of the hills of the painting.

It's curious now. I'm not sure what it might be a picture of. Patsy123, looking at it this weekend, thought it was a picture of a lake. It's beginning to look like a lake to me too. Oddly, the field has indeed taken on the aspect and colour of a lake. The clouds at the far side now begin to be hills and perhaps trees.

I might let the picture take me there. It needs more work and it's always possible that the accidents of paint will change its direction. We'll see.

(House on a Hill, 12x12 ins, oil on canvas)

I rather like it when a painting starts to take on a life of its own. This one began life as a daytime picture of a castle somewhere in Dorset. It never quite worked and as I played with it, the river came into existence, followed by the trees, then the castle became a house and the moon came out to light it up.

A complete surprise to me.

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