Figure Paintings 2013

A Return to Figure Paintings

In 2013, I returned to making figure paintings. I combined acrylic paint, and oil colour, with transfer prints.


I was inspired to make these paintings following a number of trips abroad during the previous 5 years.

For example, in Breakfast in Marrakech I attempted to capture the sense of colour and the strongly contrasting shadows typical of Morocco.

What You See Is What You Get combines Roman ruins in Taormina and Etna’s beauty. This painting also joins day with night.

It also focuses on a modern desire to view everything through a digital medium.

Breakfast in Marrakech
Breakfast in Marrakech, 2013, acrylic and oil on MDF, 61cm x 74cm
What You See is What You Get
What You See is What You Get 61cm x 91cm. Acrylic on MDF

As I have written elsewhere, Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe influenced Legacy.

In this painting, a group of young people enjoy a lunch break. Some are using their phones. None of them speak to each other. Meanwhile in the background, a block of flats undergoes demolition.

I found the demolition site in Vienna, the youngsters in Green Park, London, and the rest of the backdrop in Stratford, East London.

John McSweeney's painting 'Legacy'
Legacy, 98 cm x 122 cm. Oil and acrylic on MDF. Private Collection