Lost and Found

This series of mixed media paintings all began with a ‘phenomenal’ can of Irn Bru. It had been discarded on the A977, artfully flattened by many tires and then rusted to a perfect patina by our lovely Scottish weather. This can was a thing of beauty and I wanted to use it in a painting. But it would have been lonely on its own, so I started scanning the roadside for more treasures of the disposed kind. The pickings were unexpectedly rich and surprising. (Within the first mile I had about 7 empty packets of paracetamol. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?)

In previous paintings I had already incorporated a lot of texture, often by adding materials associated with the theme of the paintings. So why not paint on, with and over those lovely unloved items found by the roadside?

Initially, I tried to use my loot to re-create aspects of the walks that had yielded them, but eventually, the objects developed a life of their own and became the starting point rather than the means to an end. They assembled themselves into little tableaux and imaginary landscapes almost of their own accord. Suddenly, a cigarette butt from the beach could become a glorious tower and an old ice lolly stick would magically grow into a pier.

Now, when I see a crooked paper clip, a wrapper, spilt coffee grounds or an old shopping list, I don't think of what it was, but of what it could become.