• Inspiration
  • Post author
    Francis Boag
  • Technique


I first wrote this nearly 20 years ago as part of my application for the M.A. Course at Grays and reading it again I'm struck by how much it still informs my work today.

In my work, I am trying to evoke in the viewer, a childhood memory of a day or a long forgotten moment, and to reawaken the sense of pleasure and lost innocence this memory brings.

I hope to achieve this response through a combination of visual references, intellectual elements and emotional triggers.

In the paintings, the visual references are the trees, cottages, dykes ( stone walls ) birds, sheep, cows and so on, which I interpret in a naïve simplified style.

The intellectual element is the sense of it being a visual record of an actual place i.e. Cookney or Glen Isla and the emotional triggers are chiefly the expressive, vibrant colour I use, but the texture, shapes and rhythmic 'marks' I make as the painting develops are also important.

In my current work, I am slowly working toward diminishing the intellectual elements, refining and simplifying the visual references and trying to rely more on the emotional triggers, to elicit a response.

My aim is to make work, which will impact on the person seeing it in a sense similar to that felt on listening to a familiar or favourite piece of music.


  • Post author
    Francis Boag
  • Technique

Comments on this post (3)

  • Apr 03, 2016

    I refer to your paintings as “happy pictures.” My reactions to them are always of childish joy and take me back to good memories from long ago. Therefore you are indeed succeeding to convey that sense of pleasure and innocence lost and I react to them mainly emotionally but also get great enjoyment from the colours and colour combinations. One day I might even stretch to owning one to enjoy every day. Looking at your artwork has also made me much braver in my use of colour.

    — Mrs Siv A MacArthur

  • Mar 22, 2016

    Hi Francis
    Do you ever run workshops for artists?
    I have long been an admirer of your work and would be first in line!!!!!

    — Kirsty Kirkwood

  • Mar 22, 2016

    “to reawaken a sense of pleasure and lost innocence …” Yes, you achieve this, thank you for that. It is the aspect of your work I most admire and, in a positive way, I envy you this ability. It is so easy to see too much and want to put everything into the painting without distilling the essentials so expertly. Your work makes me and a lot of people I know, smile… Just such a pleasure and inspiration!

    — Letitia Smith-Burnett

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