Often memory comes unbidden, secreting itself into a painting. But it cannot be forced. And so in my studio yesterday, now wintry and hibernatory, I try and recall something of our visit to the Yorkshire moors in the summer. Three small paintings since, have taken me back there, allowing me to meander delightedly in summer greenth, evoke tree and shape so far removed from the broad expanses of black water and urban sprawl that envelop my daily tread now. So I thought I could lose myself there again, take a meander and hop over that ancient stone wall, find that grove of oaks with their plum red shadows, paint the white pink scar sculpted into the rock of the hillside but no, its gone. And instead my patchwork meander became a screaming highway of jarring brushstrokes, foul colour, jagged shape which would not be tamed. Turning it upside down, find a new composition, but no, best turned to the wall. Only reapproached with fresh palette, brush and paint. Studio clearing imminent and necessary.
On the other side of the studio there’s an inky black and blue Bosphoros, so close now, a huge container ship approaching, and the shadowed bulk of the fishermen in the foreground.