About the Picture
This painting was completed shortly after Vanessa (my partner) and I moved into our first flat in Bristol in 1998. You can
see us both in the left-hand foreground; I am lying on the ground with Vanessa holding my hand. The image is a declaration
of love, romantic hope and the start of a new way of life. The long future we have together is exemplified by the sequence
of figures rising from me on the left of the painting: a schoolboy, a worker, an old man, and then a friendly phantom guiding
this inevitable path. A crowd has gathered to offer their gifts to the new couple: a shell that carries the sea, a full jug
of milk, and a beaded gentleman offers us a wooden cup to drink these with; simple signs of an ordinary but happy life. A
cowboy pulls on the conscience of a cynic watching on, who instinctively releases a idealistic bird. Behind the central figures,
a train of well-wishers point back towards the harbour and its moored boat. A journey has just been undertaken.
Click on the image to see the picture in more detail.