Drawing the Source, is my title for a series of paintings and drawings for Great Queen Street Restaurant in London. When Rob and Jonathon were opening the place they were thinking about what to put on the walls. Unlike in its sister restaurant, the Anchor & Hope, where the display changes, Rob wanted the pictures to hang there permanently.
I made a couple of false starts; first, was thinking about when the place was built and looked at early English landscape painting of around that time but that was inappropriate as it wasn’t the building but the food which was important, and there is nothing of the pastiche about it. It is honest, bang up-to-date, traditional british cooking. So my painting wasn’t going to have any pretence about it.
I started while in Cornwall, however the paintings I made there, of moorland and sea, weren’t that good and also, I came to realise, had no direct connection with the restaurant. For that I could turn to its suppliers. The French think it’s in for a dig that English foodies are so conscious about sourcing the ingredients for their dishes, saying it must point to an overall lack of quality if we have to be so concerned about finding the best suppliers. Be that as it may, Great Queen Street is pretty picky about who brings what for the grub it serves up and so I looked at the list and wondered where I should set off for first. And it was Tom’s place over the border in Wales that Jonathon suggested I go.