As 2010 ticked into 2011, I was standing watching the fireworks in Nicosia, Cyprus, with my partner. As the fireworks exploded, and cascades of fiery stars fell through the darkness, I cheered loudly with the crowds. Faces shone with the universal hope a New Year always brings.
A few days later, after numerous walks through sunlit parks glowing with the artificial greens that unfold at that time of year, I was yearning to paint. I wrote this in my diary:
'Images are struggling to get out, beating against closed eyelids: when I close my eyes they flit across my inner vision, they seep into dreams, they burst out from behind and between leaves and concrete as I walk, they float up from the sweet earth and sing from the trickling river. I smell them as I pass rainbow flowers, and hear them bubbling behind apocalyptic clouds strewn with grey streamers. Vision and experience cross over into one another, they mutate into something new and bright. I sense the life forces between things, and feel the energies. The problem is to find the right form of expression and this takes time, focus and integrity. I don't want to follow trends or adapt my work for commercial reasons. It has to be pure, at the 'risk' of never making it in the 'real' world.'
('Out of the Loop,' watercolour, 16ins x 12ins, painted in Nicosia.)