is often quite strange. You can labour for ages and some things just will not come right then others seem to pretty much make themselves – at least up to a point though you can find yourself going past that point and back to labouring. And then too, you do something and only a few moments later realise that it may have come unbidden from somewhere in your past. Take this piece above – I was pretty much about to leave the studio when I decided to swiftly add in some mark making whilst the gesso was still tacky. I whipped out the iPad (on which I hold the source images on which the works are very loosely based) and chose one then quickly went to the paint table and picked an ultramarine. I took this blue (I knew it was to be blue?) because I have been using a lot of Phthalo and a colleague I respect greatly had mentioned it so I thought go another way… Looking at the image I swiftly and casually brushed in the blobs approximately as they appear in the image. And then I stood back and a thought popped into my head…something I’ve thought about maybe only half a dozen or so times over forty seven years. When I was a young teenager we took a school trip to Lungern, south west of Lucerne in Switzerland and on our return journey we had some free time waiting for a train connection in Basel. I rushed off to the Kunstmuseum (somewhat surprised my teachers were prepared to let me, as we had very few minutes to wait)) where the one picture I managed to properly see was…Blue Balls by the great Sam Francis (like so many important 20c. painters pretty much ignored by art ‘educators’ and ‘curators’ in the UK nowadays). It made an impression then…and obviously (?) still does now.