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The painting on the wall


I look at one of my paintings on the far wall as I write this and I try to get in touch with the original inspiration for that particular work. I remember it well in so many ways, but in other more important ones I remain in the dark.

Squares, geometric shapes of regularity and consistency. I could be pejoratively termed ‘a square’ myself, the label would stick readily and easily. Squares are easy to stack, prone to regulation, don’t fall over easily and provide a semblance of solidity. These were not my thoughts while I painted.


My over-riding intention was to create something pretty. Something enjoyable to look at. Humans love beautiful things. What is a beautiful thing and how do you go about creating one? There are ways and means. Light colors, complementary combinations, how the surface is divided – all are used and continue to be used to give pleasure to the eye.


So that was my starting point. At some stage I lost interest in this intention, but held it at the same time in the back of my mind, it’s a natural intention to beautify and organize, for me at least. I wanted more. I wanted the squares to dig into themselves. To criss cross, to relate and interact. To see how they would react to that disjointed entanglement. I must have been happy with the result, because at some stage I deemed the painting complete. And there it rested for some time, sitting in the studio, staring as much at me as I did at them, the squares. The inevitability of them. I don’t think you could use such language with circles.


Language falls away in the face of art, verbal language is inadequate. We might cling to it at our expense but it is better to let it go and just allow the work to speak to you. If it has nothing to say that is fine as well

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