12 February 2021

cranking and wanking in fine homes and not


Evening Prayer, Brunswick Heads, oil on canvas board, 19 January 2021, 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 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 which also appeals to me. 

Despite being done on a windy swept beach in front of the sea it almost feels like it could have been made on a large table in a studio by a long squeegee full of pre-mixed colours.  

And despite that there seems to be volume there.

I see that by turning out so many of these small studies on an almost daily basis, usually even two or three at a time most days, I might almost imagine myself as a kind of sperm donor for small walls.

Maybe even like one does to make babies, cranking out so many different little lives into the world by spreading one's seed (though no wanking please! heavens!) because this too, is also a service of sorts, though for all the 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. But  others, like in unhappy families, will hide within unhappy walls, cornered equally, between the dingy and unpainted, like awful parents. Like Tolstoy says in the first line of Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Yet 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 and some will hang at the end of a rope.

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

Even so, in the end, as a painter without children, I must still apparently be, a giver of Life. 

All this reminds me of Tolstoy in his first line of Anna Karenina, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Perhaps paintings are similar. 

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