This is the first piece of the new year and accompanying it is the last painting of the old year, tinkered with: I feel that tinkering has improved it. As I have mentioned before, this inability to leave things alone is part of my way of painting, re-working; re-using; revealing both uncertainty and the confidence to re-use work to try to get at what I want. I suppose that the nub of the problem is precisely that of having ideas and trying to make them work. In these paintings I feel that I am trying to say something about the sorts of spaces that we inhabit. With landscape it is tempting to moralise in the way of American painters of the nineteenth century or invite a cultural reading of the environment. It is true that nature is violent, true that in the midst of Arcadia there is destruction but what has this to do with the making of a painting that derives from nature? We are, it is. I observe it and take something for myself to use whilst all the while it, is indifferent.
Some while ago now the painter Jake Berthot said that "Making paintings is kind of like being a snake. a snake sheds its skin once in a while and so does a painter. The difference is that the snake is still a snake but the painter doesn't know what shape he is - one time he is shaped like a dump truck and the next he's shaped like a butterfly." I would say that nature is still nature: I might add that it knows nothing of what we call landscape.