Charles Saatchi came to some of Doig’s early shows, in pubs and odd spaces, but he never bought anything. The press was full of articles about the death of painting, but Doig, who by now had a wife whom he’d met at St Martin’s and the first of their five kids, trusted those obituaries were exaggerated.
Perhaps one consequence of his rootless childhood was a hoarder’s habit: he was a great collector of images and scraps of things, taking Polaroids, hanging on to bits of strangeness he saw. In London, he often went to Canada House on Trafalgar Square to raid its library of travel brochures, trying to make some sense of his memories of adolescence in Toronto. In contrast to the slickness of the art that was making headlines, he had a desire to make paintings that were resolutely ‘homely’, often literally so: a recurring obsession in his work were colloquial suburban and rural houses, glimpsed from across roads or through trees, domestic images so singular that they shift, like David Lynch scenes, into the territory of uncanny.
White Canoe Image follows: