Arizona paintings

  • Canyon, the way down 48 x 48ins (120 x 120cm)
  • Canyon with Pine 60 x 60ins (150 x 150cm)
  • Canyon 60 x 60ins (150 x 150cm)
  • Desert garden car park 50 x 50ins (125 x 125cm)
  • Desert Garden, Tempe 48 x 36ins (120 x 90cm)
  • Donald's House 32 x 24ins (80 x 60cm)
  • Camelback from Donald's House 50 x 40ins (123 x 100cm)
  • Street scene, Phoenix 48 x 36ins (120 x 90cm)
  • Condominium 48 x 36ins (120 x 90cm)
  • Villa with prickly pear 48 x 36ins (120 x 90cm)
  • 8503, Scottsdale 36 x 30ins (90 x 75cm)
  • Seguara, Scottsdale 40 x 36ins (100 x 90cm)
  • E. Wilshire Drive 48 x 48ins (120 x 120cm)

I visited the American South West in 1987, partly to give a guest lecture at Arizona State University and partly to research illustrations for my book on Taste. I was struck by the exotic desert landscapes of course but equally by the lush suburban scenes of Scottsdale, where I stayed. ‘Donald’ was my host, the late Donald Bush, then Professor of architecture at ASU.

Back home the paintings were worked-up in the studio from photographs and sketches done during that trip. Like that the Mediterranean, the intense light of Arizona enabled me to use the strong colour palette I had earlier developed for the Raga series. As I worked on the Arizona paintings I realised that impressions re-drawn from memories were often more intense than the original experiences, so that returning to themes after several years have passed has become a recurrent practice.