Monday 27th May
I used to paint a lot, and now I end up painting a lot. It used to be oil painting of course, but now it is house painting. I used to spend nearly every evening drawing or painting, I specialized in monochrome biro, thick dense blocks of colour but with fine delineation around the eyes or fingers. But in a funny sort of way it was the repetitive biro strokes filling in the dark areas that I liked best. Sometimes it took days to finish off a portrait, and only a few minutes doing the interesting bits, but hours and hours blocking in the background colour. And even when I progressed to paint, I liked using Humbrol enamels best, again this was repetitive work with a fine brush, attempting to create dense blocks of colour.
And I am doing it again, house painting – filling in blocks of colour, trying to get the brush strokes as even as possible. This week it is the doors leading to the courtyard garden. They were just a varnished wood and now they are Green Glade and White. And it is so soothing, brushing up and down, and watching as slowly the doors are transformed.
I sometimes think I am in the wrong job, accounts. I drifted into it by accident. Back in the late sixties you didn’t think about a career. A job was just a job, you never really questioned whether it was the right career or not, you just did it until something else that paid better came along. But maybe I should have been a painter, decorator. It is a very soothing occupation.
What do I think about when i am painting? I cannot really say, i am concentrating one part of my mind on the job in hand, the painting, the smooth strokes, while my mind wanders off, probably at all sorts of tangents, who knows. The thing is, it’s a bit like dreams, you wake up knowing you have dreamed a lot, and sometimes one particular repetitive theme stays with you, but mostly they are gone, just gone, just like the old door colour.