By Bob Booth
This painting which takes its theme form the biblical story of Jonah, is clearly a long way from
depicting every-day life. In some way it is this aspect which reminds me of the potential found in the
painting rather than in its reference to nature.
The bulk of the colour is confined to the central area of the painting and its thematic focus.
The emerging relationship between the mouth of the fish, the bow of the ship, and the figure of
Jonah, has been a surprise. These are the relationships that cannot be anticipated or contrived, and
their significance is in some way inexplicable. It is however just this that remains an important part
of the grace which the creative process depends on.
This particular painting has been through a process where the main theme and composition was
established in a small oil sketch. From there it was developed into a monochrome, full-size drawing
in lamp black which determined the basic tonal areas. The tonal value of colour stage is then
indicated by the monochrome ‘under-painting’.