This was a view from a window in Crete where we went on holiday during the famous autumn hurricane that blew down swathes of trees in the U.K. We heard about it on the radio. We were staying at a little bar with a couple of rooms attached to it that was very near the beach. It was called ‘Geronimo’s’.
When I first went into our room it was very dark, basic and cold. I opened the shutters at the end of the room and light came flooding in. Grapes were hanging in heavy bundles outside the window, and the sea was visible behind them like a moving jewel.
I made a drawing on the spot which you can see from one of my sketch-books. I began the painting in the following year. Time lapses between the experience, original sketch and making the painting don’t really matter. I find I can revisit work many times. Originally when I made the painting it was much easier to read the landscape through the window.
Memory made certain aspects more significant, especially the grapes, so I ‘took back’ large parts of the piece, leaving just a small rectangle more decipherable to represent the quality of the memory. This remains a key piece as it enabled me to loosen up, and let the picture itself dictate how it wanted to become. Paintings talk back to me. A piece is never really finished; you just stop at an interesting point.
Knowing when to stop is one of the most difficult choices .