The excitement for me as an artist lies not in exploring the unknown but in how I can effectively organise a visual arrangement that reflects the atmosphere and intensity of an environment, evoking a precise moment of the day under specific light and conditions. I hope you enjoy the work
Feature of the week 18/10/2020
If you wander down Vallance Road, about half way along you will see Rinkoff’s, a well-known East End Jewish bakery, part of a building comprising two shops, the other being a newsagents. The newsagents was until recently a precarious structure forming an appendage to its famous neighbour and had a tatty, dilapidated frontage when compared to the stylish frontage of the bakery next door.
It was in this guise that I was attracted to paint it, being drawn to the structure’s precarious state, especially in comparison to the stern expression of the original founder, depicted on the end wall of the bakery, forever overlooking the comings and goings on the street.
Because I work quite slowly it is 3 years since I made initial studies for this painting and of course during this period, as with so many of my works, refurbishment has started and been completed, replacing the original patina. However, I was much relieved to see that the building was not replaced as I originally feared, by a small block of ‘luxury apartments’ or similar as in Ben Jonson Road in nearby Stepney.
Yesterday I was working on the final stages of the painting before a meeting with the Gentle Author. We talked about the ways in which I felt the work had been affected by my increase in its popularity. The first response was that my primary need to paint remained the same, although I felt more confident having gained interest from a wider range of public; also that Social Media was a very good way of breaking down some of the barriers thrown up by the more established platforms.
However on further reflection and looking at Rinkoff’s, I realise that I have painted a kind of a memory. This has always excited me about painting images... a moment seeks to be captured, distilled and given resonance. When a feeling is realised, it can quickly be dissipated or subsumed by everyday life’s constant activity and it becomes at best fleeting… lost. I suppose that I’ve always painted from memory, that is from the thoughts and feelings I am able to gather and take away from a subject... asking myself the question ‘does it still retain that essence even though I have left the scene’. This I hope contributes to the power an image can hold.