A5 Gouache painting of a frame that contains an animal - a cow or a goat - set against a blue sky.

Last week I watched ‘The Magnificent Seven’ for the first time in over thirty years. In fact, I was only half watching it as I was also making some small gouache paintings and occasionally looking up.

Before the action gets going – before the bandits arrive to raid the village – the hired gunmen are getting to know the villagers that they’ve been hired to protect and there’s a festival of some kind. A structure that contains an effigy of a goat or some other livestock animal is held up and shaken. against the blue sky. It’s an arresting image and one I wanted to capture.

Since the first lockdown if 2020, I have been aware that the images I make of towers, trees, angels, UFOs, ladders, and so on, have a tendency to embody what I clumsily call ‘upness’. I think it’s related to hope, but without any concession to ‘aspiration’. This image fits in with that, I think.

It’s a small painting, made at a desk at home (that is, not in the studio) using gouache and watercolour. It’s modest in size – A5 – and a bit scruffy. It’s possible that I’ll return to it to clarify a few elements and/or intensify the light, but not right away.