Mathew's Day: 2'6'' x 6' Acrylic on canvas.
Mathew was a friend of mine that I had worked with in Saudi Arabia. He died in Spain where he lived with his wife and 2 children. He was about 30, and very fit, yet died of a heart attack. His wife phoned me to tell me the news and when he was to be buried. She asked if I would have a drink for Mathew on the beach at the time he was to be buried because he loved the sea and Cornwall where I live.
I went out that day to the cliffs and sat on the top in the sunshine before I went down the steep grassy slope to the beach. As I was walking, I stumbled over, which had never happened to me before on that steep grassy slope. It was as if I had been tripped. It made me smile: it was if Mathew was smiling too. Got to the beach, it was completely empty. I stood by the edge of the sea and waited for the exact time before I drank my tot of rum from my flask.
Looked back to the cliffs, and there was a white mist/cloud rolling out from the top over the beach. I watched fascinated as it seemed so odd on such a sunny day, and I’d never seen it happen here before. It was moving fast and I poured out the rum. At the right moment I started to drink and think of Mathew and watched this white cloud that was over the sea now take on the shape of a giant angel with enormous wings. At exactly the right time the cloud reached the sun, which I then realised had a rainbow circling it, and the sun became the head of this angel. It lasted only a few seconds and then the cloud dissipated.
I did this painting soon after, and named it Mathew's Day. A lot of it is automatic.