A really good artist makes us look at the familiar in new ways; things we might once have passed by without a second glance become suddenly remarkable. Paul Nash did it with his winter landscapes and paintings of trees; Maxwell Doig does it with the gable end of an old building, a deserted farmhouse, or the clock tower of an abandoned woolen mill.
What at first sight seems ordinary becomes, through his hands and eyes, extraordinary. And you can never look at those things in quite the same way again.
It has taken years for Doig to reach this remarkable point – to be able to look, say, at the Flamborough Head lighthouse in North Yorkshire, and paint it in a way that no-one else has quite achieved before, ‘to see it anew,’ as he says.