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 From 'The Red-Headed League', by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A multitude of redheads gather in Fleet Street, London...


OCT 15 2022

More reds... a celebration of reds...a better painting and a better photo! The curved and zig-zag lines are now more prominent: Sherlock Holmes makes two journeys from Baker St to the bank in the City where the robbery takes place, once by cab, the other by the Underground. Follow the green dots...


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MARCH 6 2021

New green dots - what do they signify? 


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BOOK 13 - Re-visited Nov/Dec

I've been thinking for a while that there was too much blue in this 'red' painting and that the top blues cancelled out the blues at the bottom. A bright new red red at the top sets off the rest and has made the painting stronger. 


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Love this painting - packed with colour-pleasures, texture incident and spatial complexities. And we have mystery: manipulations of 'fact' and 'fiction' that provoke the enjoyable questions: 'What is real, what has meaning, what is accident, what is design, Is that a clue?' The painting changes constantly under different light but the reds and blues and greens are the similar-toned and dense colour, which perhaps comes over best in the details. The spirit of Matisse. The possibilities of painting in crime-fiction...


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A small grey square has its own quiet power. A new vibrant pinkish 'v-shape' - an abstracted symbol - makes visual links with its friends around the canvas. I was troubled by the proportion of blues in the painting but they are now tamed by new intrusions and the cut-out red shape is now twisted by stronger verticals and the final intuitive marks...



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A new green-square - one that grips the eyes (6). Soundtrack: 'Led Zeppelin 2'. Awesome...


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A day of detail and redrawing and bringing in some more reds and more verticals. I also reworked the top-left blue: it's much stronger now and comes forward with the top-right blue going back. Great light this morning - the photo above shows the beauty of the surface. Just a couple of things to try in the last session...


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Two days intense working on this piece - getting close. Building on the red under-painting (1), specifics from the novel are introduced (2). I also found my key-red, based on Venetian Red, with additions of Yellow Ochre, Zinc White and Cadmium Red. The reds are gradually built up with forceful marks and spikes are cut in to the extended blue across the bottom (3). Today, new reds are worked in, built up, in shifting directions (detail below). The blue is intensified and set off by a vertical hot-pink, shooting up from the bottom-edge (4). The red-shape is wild and the colours are starting to sing...


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The red/blue proportion doesn't seem right and the top & bottom blues seem to cancel each other out. I can either make the top blues a lot darker or cover them with floods of new, flat reds, reds that don't exist in the painting. The bottom blue/turquoise will be even more powerful, but the reds should now dominate. Only one way to find out...


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