I was aware that an autumnal image would enhance this project charting a year and was waiting for the leaves to turn and to arrive at the right subject. This happened to be the stretch of canal leading into central Oxford. Less than a mile from the centre the canal has been kept pleasant and leafy with enormous town houses backing on to it, each with their own slim mooring. The boat in this painting ‘Little Beauty’ was about as big a boat as the house owners could get away with without prodding into next doors. The towpath was almost tunnelled in a thin drapery of leaves on their way out, some already in the canal giving flashes of floating colour against the brushwork of the reflecting murky water.
This piece shot together quickly. I have consciously left it very early on, enjoying the abstracted, sometimes harshly angled brushwork and the unusual colour palette. The colour combinations were reminding me of some of Gauguin’s work, it’s rare and exciting that he has cropped up in my subconscious.