|Oliver on the Floor, oil on canvas, 20 x 42 inches, 1992-3|
The model for this painting was a young man I was friendly with at art school. He was immensely talented, but unfocused. I knew he needed money and so I was happy to pay him to pose now and then. He had long thick blonde hair and a Jesus beard, till one day he showed up completely shaven! We were in the middle of a painting too. Resigned, I put that one away and started this one, which seemed to better suit both our moods. Unfortunately, the shaving seemed to be indicative of some "casting off" process, and after only a couple of sessions he disappeared. Later I heard he'd headed to California.
The painting never got finished, but there is something about it I like, despite its rough, unfinished, state.