During the lock down in the United Kingdom throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 I hit a major problem with how I usually run my practice.  I became unable to travel out from my home to make drawings and paintings of the type of subjects that I prefer to work with due to the restrictions made on movement.  As a result I decided to return to a method of working that I had used twenty years earlier which is to draw and paint from memory.  I started working in my sketchbooks in a form of automatic painting/drawing allowing the paintbrush to move instinctively.

The image on the above right from my sketch book caught my eye and I decided to develop it further into the painting below.

Working only from memory again allowed myself to focus on the idea/s rather than becoming distracted by technical aspects of picture making.  The abovepainting struck a chord with me on an emotional level.  The figure in the bottom left hand corner of the image looks up at the cosmos above a landscape of fields and mountains.  A leafless tree stands in front and to the right of the figure.  A crow perches on one of the branches.  The image resonated with notions of wonder about my/our place in the universe, the direction I/we are going within it and feelings of frailty and isolation.  The crow is symbolic in some cultures of mystery and personal transformation.

The above images are some of the drawings/paintings from my sketchbooksthat led me to develop the next painting (below).

The above painting also shows a landscape of fields, mountains and a body of water under a starry night sky.  In the foreground two figures play out a mysterious narrative.  The figure on the left appears to be almost grappling with a blank signpost and the figure on the right strolls across the picture plane, their head shrouded and so deprived of sight.

"Metaphysical Art is the translation of the Italian Pittura Metafisica, a movement created by Giorgio de Chirico and the former futurist, Carlo Carra, in the north Italian city of Ferrara. Using a realist style, they painted the squares typical of such Italian cities but the squares are unnaturally empty, and in them objects and statues are brought together in strange juxtapositions. The artists thus created a visionary world of the mind, beyond physical reality – hence the name."  Tate. “Metaphysical Art – Art Term.” Tate, 1 Jan. 1970, www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/m/metaphysical-art.