KEITH NESBITT - 9 - 2 - 5 (1974)


9-2-5 : 1974


This is the first painting I really felt happy about. The picture just appeared in my head one day and I quickly drew it down. It was my first oil painting. This medium allowed me to make better transitions between colours. As well as helping with the colour fade process it also introduced a brighter more vivid range of colours to my palette. After this painting I was certain that blue was my favourite colour. Apparently, the majority of people feel this way. I wonder why. Perhaps the ability to see the colour blue evolved at a time when most people were happy. It certainly would have been wonderful to see the sky and sea all blue for the first time.


Sketch for 9-2-5 (ink on paper). Study for 9-2-5 (crayon on paper).  

The imagery contains many elements that would recur in later paintings. The sun above a horizon, the mountains, clouds and a crescent moon. I don’t often paint people but this is probably my father. He was a dentist and I think somewhat trapped in a profession that was not always where he wanted to be. There was a strong lesson in this for me and I was always determined not to be trapped in a “nine to five” job that made me unhappy. There is a sense of soulful sadness about the picture. Some mystics interpret the crescent moon as a sign of destiny. Some people believe in numerology too. Later in my life - during one of my more psychic (or psychotic) phases I came across a girl with the number plate 925. It felt like destiny to me but that’s a long story. Later again I would interpret this as my own race against time, clocked by the sun and moon and seeking the change represented by the new moon.


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