Thursday 20 August 2009

Dull Sky, Dull Painting Overalls, Washing Out In The Trees To Dry

Done the housework for this morning. I woke wearily today to a grey overcast sky, a basket full of washing to dry and the memory of yesterday. I came back from Birmingham from visiting my elderly aunt with my not so elderly mother. What has become a nostalgic memory even though it was less than 24 hours ago, is the bright sunshine and smell of the sea as I pulled up into my house. After unpacking I put on shorts and teeshirt, covered myself with suncream, and went for a bike ride to Somewhere Else.

The sun was not too hot, my shorts and teeshirt gave me a feeling of physical freedom and my flop flops had red and white polka dots on them. Within seconds, I was in both a French Art film (cycling silently in the sun with no luggage and my eyes half closed - except that they weren't or I would have crashed - and the sound of the pedals making a hypnotic and deeply important point. Whatever it was) and a Famous Five book by Enid Blyton (chirpy artist whizzing through the English countryside with only the thought of ginger beer and cream buns to keep her going, frowning at all those nasty baddies lurking in the hedgerows wanting to steal some jewels).

I cycled to Pagham and joined half the population of West Sussex on the beach. I stood and watched every kind of shape and size of person, from beetroot through to puce to pink to white, in the sea and eating ice cream. Having decided I loved them all, in the way the Dalai Lama might, I cycled home. Once at home I decided, after a shower, my cup it overfloweth. Jolly good.

And today, oh it is so grey and windy. I have lit an Apple Scented candle in the studio, and am looking forward, in a grey windy kind of way, to painting Steve and Angels and not doing office stuff at all. Well, I will have to do one or two things, but if I get my state of mind right they can be slipped in without me noticing. And cycling today? I will go, in my stained painting boiler suit and today I will be in a Russian Soviet Realist film. There will be shots of me struggling on my bike in the gloom, in an industrial workers outfit, the cameras lingering on the clouds gathering and shaping grey in the sky. No one will smile on the Pagham beach. All will be thinking of the Party and concerned only that their welding equipment and Ladas are working. And all the while a balalaika will play moodily just in case you thought there was any hope.

So today is about getting the paintings done in the studio. About cups of tea, apple scented candles, and radio 4. It is about not going outside, until perhaps later, and just making the most of it all. Like a plucky Famous Five character would do.

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