This canvas started out as ‘Barnet, Mark & Jasper fit a Saab 900, (Original Model)’, painted in 1994. On opening its packing case prior to an exhibition in 2009, I was devastated to see this work effectively ruined as a result of flooding which happened not long after my arriving in Saint Raphaël. My studio was originally a garage below the house in which I live, which is built into the shaley rock of the local Esterel mountains. The upper and lower sections of the canvas were quite dilapidated, but the original work being so close to my heart, ! set to to preserve the central horizontal section by cleaning and then repainting it.
Just re-modelling the three remaining central bands of colour was clearly an unrewarding exercise. The original top horizontal band of blue containing the symbolic 'Daytona Zero' having disintegrated, the composition was quite lacking. ‘Zut’, not only did I think to put the ‘Zero’ back into the painting but I chose to do it thrice and at different scales, diminishing in size from left right. The painting was to be called, ‘Painting my Numbers - OUT’ as this quasi restorative work had become an effort to expurgate my original interest in number forms, dating from 1993.
However, as the painting progressed, more and more attention was being paid to the existing original numbers and, indeed, more and more numbers were being added. Clearly this was becoming a case of ‘Painting my Numbers - IN’!
When the painting on the remaining good canvas had finished, It became evident that the proportions of the work were just too long and thin. As I am most at ease working with wood, I chose to place a well figured Ash wooden panel, cut throughout its length at the top of the composition, the joint being hidden by a piece of Ipé wood. This seemed to be the answer; for me the exercise was complete.
Despite the addition of these pieces of wood, I see this work as a pure painting, demanding my reaching back to my earlier days as an artist, one very much more involved with the use of paintbrushes.
Oil on canvas over board with added Ash and Ipé wood.