Seven hooks on sacking 20 x 34 cm
This painting is in the RI annual exhibition at the Mall galleries, London (2-19 April 2014). It may have been a simple subject but it was a bit of an adventure to paint! I was taken by lots of things – the restricted palette, the contrast of the curves against the square ‘cross hatching’ of the sacking, the ‘life history’ of the hooks …. but then I had to get down to painting it. The sacking was a challenge. I can’t stand fiddling. I like to put down whole ‘areas’. In the end, rather than paint from light to dark and add millions of dots at the end (and vaguely in the right place), I put in the time at the start by generally mapping out and then masking the threads. All I then had to do was a sweeping dark wash over it all, remove the mask, let the tiny ‘dark’ squares set well over a few days and then do general gentle washes of colour over the top in the comfort that the impression of sacking was there and I could build around that. Simple or not so simple?