www.jesusonthetube.co.uk for my other website about Jesus on the London Underground
www.agracefuldeath.blogspot.com for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life
I Don't Know What Is More Important, A New Painting Or Sailing For The First Time Yesterday
Goodness. Now I have a tussle regarding priorities. As an Artist, my main aim is to paint and make pictures. As (Occasionally) a Flighty Type, I want to concentrate on all the fun I have been having. So yes, I have nearly finished a self portrait of myself as a Survivor for the A Graceful Death exhibition which opens in Dublin on the 22 October. I wanted to include a wonderful hopeful painting of how it is not only possible but right, to live on and experience happiness and peace again. I am a survivor of the loss of Steve and I wanted to show how there is always life in and around us, until we too die. So I have painted a wonderful yellow background against which I sit in my bright orange jumper, simply looking out with no expression needed. I have no props, there is nothing else in the painting but me sitting and looking out at you with the glorious yellow background saying so much about how there is always light and life around us. So here it is. I have not finished it yet, there are some details to go in like the chair I am sitting on which isn't there yet. My earrings, my ring, the hands need a bit of work and my hair needs to be finished. No, I won't put a moustache on it, that would be silly.
Don't you love that yellow? I want to paint more survivors - or not survivors - of bereavement. I want to paint those who have experienced loss at whatever stage they may be at. Not everyone gets through, not everyone takes a few years, some take longer some take shorter. It is all very personal. This painting is about 4' by 2.5'.
Oh but now, on to the sailing. Yesterday I went sailing for the first time. I was taken by my nice friend Ann the Artist from Middleton, and her other half, Barry. An experienced sailing friend of Barry's called Tony came too. That was nice, because I get called Toni an awful lot, and so everytime Barry said Hoist the Main Petard Tony, I jumped up and said Righty Ho, What Do You Mean?
The boat was neat, small and made of wood. It had a teeny little cabin down some steps and a loo and some sleeping berths. It had some sails and a motor. Barry and Tony from time to time leant over the sides and called to each other, "Ah, there's a point five luxury sloop nineteen seventy five mark two version," and the other would suck his teeth and say with a slight shake of his head,"Dunno about the point five, I think eight point two nought nought is a better version. Nice mover though, handy knottage for a small craft".
Ann had sailed before many times and would quietly get up onto the front of the boat and haul in a rope or point to a sail that was not quite tight enough, then come back and continue talking to me about Art and Men. Ann is a very good painter, and quite a modest kind of character, which is very lovely. She knows a lot of things, and has had many experiences, so talking of Art, Men and Boats is mind expanding with her. Both Ann and I did not want to be cold or wet, so we wore those heavy waterproof over trousers that have straps that go over your shoulders. I already had tights under my trousers and thick socks and a vest and two jumpers and a heavy coat on, so after borrowing Barry's heavy trousers I was extremely dry, warm and unable to move. I was like the Michelin Tyre Man and took more time than ususal to stand up and sit down. I could help on the boat by steering standing up, or steering sitting down. I could not leap to help in an emergency (like the broom going overboard) but I could shout instructions. I was very jolly and very happy but not very mobile. Ann, Barry and Tony were all much more used to being on a boat and had no trouble at all doing everything and being very entertaining and fun.
Other news? Well, A Graceful Death is shaping up nicely to open in Dublin on the 22 October. A painting for a nice man in London is coming on well, and I am waiting to start on the Rocking Rev Rachel's portrait as Rock Chick Angel of the North. And I am very tired in my bones today, I think that some sunshine would do me a lot of good. So a trip to Jamaica would be the answer, I think. Nice and simple. I will ask the Jolly Boys if I can come and stay. And in the house? Well, the Silent Pole has been seen eating at the table, which is one more exciting indicator that he is normal. He is lovely, just elusive and quiet and like a startled deer. Arty Man Who's Life Is Never Dull is back from a night away and wore a nice fluffy man-jacket this morning and his Ginger Best Friend has hurt her back. 13 Year Old Son has decided the Army isn't for him (was he considering it? How? When?) and that being an American Cop is. Why? Because they carry guns. And your point is, Son?
So, to recap. I can paint, sail, want to stay with the Jolly Boys in Jamaica, saw the Silent Pole eating, think that 13 Year Old Son wants to be Robocop, am taking the A Graceful Death to Dublin in a few weeks, and haven't decided what to have for dinner tonight yet - and am very tired. Well, putting it like that, of course I am tired. I am living Life In The Fast Lane. It's the Price of Success. (!)
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