It all started one morning, on my birthday. There was a tune in my head as I woke and I thought, "This happens every morning". So I decided to make a list—a record of these random occurrences. I had no idea what I would do with the list at first but after a week or two I decided that I would make a series of paintings which would relate in some way to the listed tunes. They would all be square and as they were all music related and to continue with the theme of my interest in recorded music, a little larger than a 12 inch record sleeve i.e. 40 x 40 cm.
I had not done any painting for about thirty years so this was quite a bold undertaking as I did not consider myself 'a painter' at all. Previous experience was in the 1960s as a pre-diploma (foundation) student or a bit of dabbling in the mid-1970s and early 1980s.
I kept the list going for five years by which time I had over 1800 titles for potential paintings. Let me explain the titles:
First comes the date that I awoke to that particular tune, second is the title of the tune, third is a performer chosen by me as a preference where numerous renditions have been recorded. Next is the date of the published recording and finally, the date of the completed painting.
As with style and techniques, the relationship between title and image varies from a simple play on words as with April in Paris which features April Stevens (of Deep Purple fame) in the Parisian Metro. Others are deeply autobiographical as with Hendrix's Red House and Lovely Rita by the Beatles. The Coronation Scott was the signature tune of the Paul Temple radio dramas and the painting presents both the historic steam locomotive and my rendition of Paul Temple and his wife Steve. The actors I remember from the BBC broadcasts were Peter Coke and Marjorie Westbury but I have not shown Westbury as Steve as the actress Nancy Carroll fitted my imagined likeness better. Most of the paintings have a tail to tell.