Detail at 30.1.2009As I make small adjustments to each panel, altering its past, I begin to think more of the future of the picture as a whole; where it can be shown; where it might end up; who will see it; can it help to support future work; what are the impending practical problems of presentation; will it need varnishing, framing, and so on.
One plan to help it be seen and to earn some of its keep is to make a full size print version with Brad Faine at Coriander Studios with whom I have worked happily for many years. Brad says this can now be done, so we will make some tests.
To delve further into the past, however, I have just visited the exhibition at Tate Britain Drawn from the Collection which includes a work of mine, one of two large charcoal drawings I made immediately on leaving art school in 1963 which represent the beginnings of a duel with abstraction and calligraphy. I remember the then director of the Tate, Norman Reid, coming to my studio with his curator Richard Morphet (those were the days) to view and reserve for the gallery an unfinished picture called Benches. Norman Reid saw the two drawings and chose (wrongly I thought at the time) the one now on view. The other I still have here (see My Painting 18.7.2008).
I was a bit apprehensive about coming across a work that I hadn't seen for forty years but was relieved to find it well presented and spaciously hung in good company and looking not at all bad.