Connemara Lake - 60 inches x 42 inches
This painting started out from the memory of a holiday in Connemara. I was driving on a road high above a lake. It was a glorious day and when I pulled over to look at the lake properly I could see a small island right in the middle, with tall trees growing on it.
The lake, the island and the trees combined made a strong image that stayed with me long after I had left Ireland and had returned to Cornwall. I made a small sketch from my memory and then started a large painting on a wooden board.
As I started to paint I began to work automatically as I normally do. I was almost watching the work develop in front to me. I can only describe what I do as working intuitively. Suddenly, as if from nowhere figures started to form in the centre of the painting and very soon I had painted a whole crowd. It appears that the people are coming out onto the water from the island.
As with most of my paintings I had no reason to try to understand what the picture was about. When I started to write my book, ‘But for Ireland I’d not tell her name,’ it occurred to me that this painting, along with two or three others, actually appeared to illustrate the story I was writing. It was as if I already had the story in my mind when I painted this piece, albeit subconsciously.
In my story the figures in the painting represent a host of lost souls emerging from beneath Bay Lough. The Lough is where the souls that are not allowed into a Christian heaven go. It is their heaven beneath the water.