"The Strait Ahead" is an image created simply from a series of my doodling around sessions. The hand and arm I had built for no particular reason and left off it for some months. Rediscovering it, I decided to "age it", to make it look like a piece of something emerging from antiquity. Once completed - using various techniques, which had been the whole point of this particular excercise - I began to like the look of it more and more but it still had no rationale or substance. It was just an old arm holding out a hand for some reason - there was no hole through to the sky at this point.

After some days or even weeks, I revisited the image a third time and it seemed to be urging me to look through the hand, beyond - spying almost - into what?

In order to imagine this I then added the blue sky and the clouds seem to emerge of their own volition. I now realised that the image was complete but it was totally changed: it had now taken on a new mood. It had become an image containing a view - as if from history looking through to the future - some kind of "portal".

It now seems to me both a sombre yet uplifting image, holding the promise of hope and a bright future - yet tempered with the menace of "The Strait Ahead". 8.02.10

.......... "The Strait Ahead" - detail.....................ll