It’s my habit - some say my affectation - when painting, to tuck a red spotted handkerchief in my waistband to use as a rag to wipe brushes on. My painting days - I started as a Sunday painter before going 24/7 - came to be known as red spotty days. I’ve been through a lot of red ‘spotties’ down the years without ever really looking at one. Then one day, there it was on the worktop, catching the sunlight, simply asking to be painted. Subsequently, when grand children came along, I took to discreetly including a red spotty in some of my paintings. There was a special pleasure, one year, taking the children to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, and releasing them like spaniels into the show, saying: ‘Go find Red Spotty.’ It took them about two minutes to whizz round 1000 paintings and come flying back: ‘Found it, found it!’ The painting is unframed on a gessoed ply-board panel.
...a time will come your eyes will rain,
use the handkerchief, wipe the pain...
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