The Burning, 2021, oil on linen, 40.5 x 50.75 cm
When I was driving along in the car, I saw something blue out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head and realised it was smoke, and I immediately thought I would use blue smoke in a painting.
The trees in the painting always feel like that they are presences in the landscape, watching everything that happens around them. In reality, they are in different fields, but they seemed so suited to be together in the painting that I eliminated all the other trees and kept these two sentinels together.
I always like to paint from life or return to the spot where I began the painting, even though I often make up a lot of the picture. At the point where I wanted to introduce the fire, I was wishing I could see one right now and to my astonishment, when I was finishing a painting session and was returning home, I saw this fantastic fire across the road. I pulled over and started to put it in the painting. I reworked bits of it, but I got my wish to paint an actual fire.