During the mid-1980s, Bellany increasingly focused on portraiture as a creative outlet. Rather than achieving as close a likeness as possible, Bellany’s portraits are vibrant visual statements that often say something about himself as well as the sitter. Not surprisingly, the self-portrait is central to the artist’s oeuvre. In this image, the artist – on the right – and fellow artist Alan Davie seem compressed by magical symbols, which play a large role in both men’s work. This double portrait is the homage of one artist to another; just as Bellany's paintings have inspired the younger generation of Scottish artists, so did Davie's before that inspire Bellany's generation. Yet it is also a painting where the two artists, side by side, watch us, the public, inspect their work.