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solitude, Humberston 1970s

Oil on canvas, 2012, 45.5 x 70.5 cm
This self-portrait is a winter or early spring scene because I am wearing a brown overcoat with padded shoulders which I bought in a menswear shop in Carnaby St, London circa 1970. I wore it regularly for about five years. In my left pocket, there is a copy of an art magazine. The beach is at Humberston (near Cleethorpes) looking towards the Humber Estuary and the North Sea. On the horizon, ships pass back and forth on their way to or from Grimsby, Immingham or Hull. When the tide is out, huge expanses of sand are exposed. As a boy, I played on these sands during the summer months. I used to walk out to a derelict military fort dating from WWI even though it was dangerous to do so because of quicksand and rapidly moving water when the tide turned. The self-image is rather pensive and melancholy because at the time I was experiencing the aftermath of a painful divorce.

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