Often the best ideas for paintings come from other people’s imaginings. This painting was a commission for a friend who wanted an image of a woman in a private moment of solitude caught in the split second before she realised she was being watched. I don’t feel the painting really succeeds in capturing this but I like the way my friend’s notion and my own idea of the library have combined to create something mysterious. Mystery is essential in my work. Paintings must be open ended so as to allow the viewer to create their own life for the work. Paintings don’t need to be pinned down by restrictive titles or explanations. Even I don’t really know what is going on here.