I didn’t know Atta Kwami well but our paths crossed occasionally over the years through his partner the artist Pamela Clarkson who I’ve known since the 1980’s. So it was a sad shock to see that he has passed. My thoughts go to Pam, a printmaker of distinction whom I briefly mentioned in my Cloughies Eyes blog.
One of Atta’s great strengths as a painter was his mastery of colour, something I rather struggle with. My solution has normally been to go towards pastels and darkness…though in the past decade I’ve tried to be bolder with my use of the palette. At the moment I’m working on three new canvases where, alongside the colour, I’m trying to let in the light too. Perhaps a response to the gathering gloom of late autumn as we hurtle towards winter. The first of them is finished I think and uses a fragment of text from July 1964, a poem by Donald Davie.