“As well as photographs and printed images, there is a considerable collection of paintings in various stages of destruction. Over a hundred slashed canvasses…Bacon acknowledged that he encountered problems when the paint became too clogged on the surface. When he couldn’t push it any further, he would cut it up.”
~Barbara Dawson | Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty, p.66-67
This is reassuring and inspirational, especially in the presence of abandoned and destroyed works. In response to this, excavating old, fragile or previously discarded images (and there’s no shortage of these) can offer up continued fodder for painting. Distance and time can shift perspectives and insights. Observation, awareness and resourcefulness are key.
Source image taken by John Deakin c.1933: