12 February 2021

cranking and wanking in fine homes and not


Evening Prayer, Brunswick Heads, 19 January 2021 oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

Here is a deceptively simple painting which I had not at all appreciated until the other day when I saw it suddenly hiding behind more glamorous-looking images on my desktop. 

Maybe it’s boring, too boring to say boo to, but seeing it afresh after a month, I find some truth in it which gives it validation, at least in my own eyes.

It has a layered feeling almost like wedding cake. And it feels flat like run through a roller which also appeals to me. 

Despite being done on a wind-swept beach in front of the sea it almost feels like it could have been made on a large table in a studio with a long squeegee full of pre-mixed colours but despite that there seems to be volume in it.

I recently read an article about a Canadian fellow who had been such a prolific doner to a fertility lab that he had ‘fathered’ hundreds of now grown up adults. With the opening up of adotion laws they had all tracked him down and eventually developed relations with him. They even all had a ‘family’ renunion of sorts.

And so I see that by turning out so many of these small studies, sometimes even two or three at a time most days, I sudenly had the outlandish picture of myself as as a kind of sperm donor for small walls all over the Western world.

Maybe even like one does to make babies, I am cranking out so many different little lives into the world by spreading seeds (though no wanking please! heavens!) because this too in a twisted line of thinking,  is also a service of sorts, though for barren walls everywhere across the globe.

And of these small studies, some will live long lives, while others, deemed unworthy, will die shortly, painted over with yet more paint to begin again.  

But the luckier ones will shine in large homes, full of light, and framed with grace, while others, like in unhappy familiess will hide within unhappy dingy walls, cornered equally, between the unpainted cornices and the wallpaper, like awful parents. 

But still others, will thrive in homes much loved and looked after in spite of divorces and deaths, while others will spend the rest of their lives entangled in cobwebs in attics and basements, others will go up in flames and a few will still tragically hang at the end of a rope somewhere.

Some will be loved sentimentally, accepted in spite of their flaws, while others will also be loved but with a certain admiration, and a critical, reverent set of eyes.

Like Tolstoy says in the first line of Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Even so, in the end, as a painter without children, I must still hang onto the idea that I have given life. 

No comments:

Post a Comment