Father and Brother in the Farmyard

Father and Brother in the Farmyard

This is based on a photo taken in summer 1994. This is a deeply personal work. My father, who was a tillage farmer, and younger brother are standing in front of the Mercedes Benz tractor with a Berthoud sprayer mounted on the back. My father had recently bought the sprayer; it’s wider arms and bigger tank covered more ground in less time than the old one. Like his father Dan, my father, Tim, was a forward thinking man in terms of machinery. I took my time with this one. Difficult areas were the front wheel of the tractor especially the ridges , my father’s shirt, face and head ( I had to completely redo his head and face cos the head was too small in the first attempt), and the sprayer’s arms at an acute angle. The machinery and my father are long gone and my brother is now as tall as my father was in this painting. The time feels like a different age to me. A line from the film, ‘Blade Runner’, was in my head as I was working on this piece:

‘All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain’.

Farmyard on a Grey Summer’s Day

Farmyard on a Grey Summer's Day

This painting was started in the summer of 1999 and painted on and off into summer 2001. I was interested in how the various buildings intersect with each other. I set up inside one of the farm sheds looking out on to the farmyard. A group of local artists came to the farm to paint shortly after I finished this. I showed the leader a few of my works up to that date, and he found my style quite lacklustre, citing this picture in particular. He advised to look at the Impressionists and more colourful art. This became the inspiration for the next painting, a copy of Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night.