'Here the space is very closed in and there are diagonals and angles, bits of repetitive patterns. I’ve really tilted the table plane towards the viewer. The painting is held in a strange sort of rigid balance, pushing and pulling the space. I had to change the angle of the dogs’ basket quite a bit and then make bits of the dogs up … Painting is like setting and then solving a puzzle, and this one has a particularly mathematical feel. The dogs and figurine and flower are bits of alleviation, sweet nothings, offerings to a wounded spirit (we are all wounded spirits, aren’t we?). The beach paradise on the ironing board is a further space within the confines of this place. It’s really a parody of escape, but an image like that is so powerful, it’s still seductive, even though it’s funny. I often feel like a painting only just succeeds. I have lots of really bad ideas, which I seriously consider along the way. For example, in this painting I thought of putting a sliding security gate across the white space. That would have been a disaster.
There’s something confounding and impenetrable about open-ended realism. It just is. That is its strength and its gift. Realism is essentially the failure to hold and grasp the world around us. It is an attempt to control the uncontrollable, to make a space in which to have a bit of purchase on the endlessly slipping, slipping world. It doesn’t and can’t succeed. We keep falling.'