Clearing out

The studio is being painted - is that meta-painting, I wonder? Anyway, I had to clear it out on Sunday and that involved shifting the piles of work under the table and leaning against the wall. It made me realise how much trial work comes before a finished piece. Most of it is not really preparation - some of it is warming-up, some of it is colour-mixing, and some are failures waiting for a covering of gesso and a new start. I threw lots away but I couldn't dispose of this one:

                                             All the town rivers  acrylic on card

Painted on a piece of card that was lying around, it has custard yellow and jelly red sky, some lumpy trees and a small black rails or perhaps a railway. Oh, and some patterns. The trouble is, it knew its name as soon as it appeared. And driving through Kalamata in the Peloponnese a few weeks ago, I encountered the (dried-up) town river with a smile of recognition. Then there's the river Aveyron that flows through Villefranche-de-Rouergue, and the Arno through Florence, and the Seine through Paris, and the Cam through Cambridge, and the Bagmati river through Kathamandu. It seems that town rivers are somehow important for me.

The painting will sit around the kitchen until one day I'll find some part of it in another picture and understand why it had to stay a while longer.