I think of Craigie Aitchison quite a bit, more than I probably should, him being a so-called minor artist. I mean I think of him more than Cezanne, more than Warhol. In fact I don’t think of Warhol at all. Maybe its because I met Craigie twice, both times somewhat tipsy with his bedlington terriers. I think of him in the shapes I see: islands, lone trees, bowls of fruit, dogs of course. Arran was where Craigie’s spent much of his childhood and its shapes continued to haunt him all his life, especially Holy Isle which he could see from his house in Lamlash. Since then holy isle had been bought by Samyé Ling Buddhist Community. Craigie distilled it down to a simple shape. It always makes me think of the Little Prince and the drawing of a snake swallowing an elephant.
Keep it rough. The edges of things, how they meet. Don’t tidy. Yellows and greys keep good company.
Painting is an act of remembering and forgetting, covering and uncovering, tracing and retracing, Getting lost and finding a way. Some how starting is a blank. A feeling of How do you do this again? And only by going through the motions can you get anywhere. Maybe us Painters are like dogs - Bedlington terriers even - routinely pissing on certain trees and lampposts, chasing sticks, growling at strangers, circling before we sit, digging to bury bones for later…creatures of habit.