Perfect Match: Old habits die hard.

Growing up, I went through my rebellious phase early. But by the time I was seven, I’d stopped ditching classes to ride other people’s bikes behind the school sheds. I was on the straight and narrow.

Of course, some habits were hard to break. My biggest weakness was the thrill of lighting matches.

When I found my parents’ hidden stash of Redheads in the laundry cupboard, I was a lost cause.

Despite their stern warnings of what would happen should I be found behaving so dangerously (and what might happen if I wasn’t), I couldn’t resist. That scratch of the matchstick along the box, the sound of the flame as it flared magically up from nowhere, and the sharp smell of phosphorus which accompanied this small forbidden act had me entranced. For all nine boxes of them. 

Just writing that last paragraph makes me wonder how I stumbled into graphic design when I was so clearly destined for pyromania…

Unsurprisingly, this week’s painting brought with it a sense of rather nostalgic rebelliousness.

Once again embroiled in depicting detailed packaging, I congratulated myself on choosing a larger surface to work on and promised myself I’ll go simpler next time.

Essentially, painting packaging kills my attempts to paint loosely. In future, I will try experimenting with how to convey something as iconic as Redhead matches using as little definition as possible, but not this time.

A small personal triumph was resisting the urge to get super finicky with the striking edge of the box, instead opting for little more than some dabbed-on dots with my rarely used filbert brush. It took a surprising amount of self-control to do that… Almost as much as was needed to resist lighting more than two matches for my still-life props.

Third Time Lucky – 25 x 20cm (8 x 10″) oil on board

Ultimately, I’m happy with the end result – details oriented though it is. Just as well really, because if it hadn’t worked out, I may well have decided to burn it.


Thanks for taking time out to view my paintings and glean some disturbing facts about my past. If you’d like to leave feedback, I’d love to hear from you!
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