'Beauty, pathos, sweetness, indulgence. A painting is a mirage, flung onto the infinite space of the canvas, formed through thousands of brush strokes like the beats of a conductor's baton. A lesson never learned, a piece of familiarity, a meaning on the tip of the tongue like a word you can't remember. A proverb, a chunk of common ground where we can all set foot.
Floating on a bed of white like a kind of swing or hammock of leaves, slung between two trees, this is the ultimate territory, an exquisite resting place. A painting is really just another kind of home and this painting is a home within a home, a space within a space. The figure is you or me looking, it's not the painted subject. She just holds a position, marks a place for us. Her delicate vulnerability and strength could be ours, if we let it. We all have ageing in us, and we are all terrified. This painting was all about the softness, the light and colours of her skin against that ethereal white. The blue cushion is a little piece of Italian frippery. Is it possible to paint an old woman without it being about an old woman? I hope so.'