July 23rd 1975

“Started new painting. Nig came round in afternoon. Went up clock in evening”

Here’s the first of the pair of paintings I toiled over in the summer of 1975. They were a matching set. Haven’t got a clue where the other one disappeared to but I’ve held onto this one in the interim 35+ years.

It feels a shame I did it in poster paints as it hasn’t stood the test of time – and several house moves (including one of 4000+ miles) – very well at all, getting all scratched up and pockmarked to a degree where it’s destined for no more than the back of a closet somewhere. But I think you can see where I was coming from in its construction – a Hawkwind album cover / space age / druggy / far-out concept where FAR too many alien planets inhabit an altogether bizarre corner of space where, apparently, a bicycle wheel may or may not be the sun, and one corner of this galaxy is being invaded by M&M’s (chocolate or plain I wonder?).

Of course another way of looking at it – apart from the favoured “distance of a few hundred yards at night time” – would be that it predicts the current horrors being inflicted by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, those black blobs and colored spheres representing the underwater plumes threatening the coastlines of Mississippi, Alabama and more.

Nurse, it’s time for his medication!

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