Saturday 27th April
I have come here ostensibly to get on with some decorating, painting the Garden Room. And it is quite a large room with a long sloping roof, so a big job. I suspect it will take two coats (at least) but still tackle it I must. I have spent the greater part of the day painting white emulsion onto walls and ceilings, the paint being absorbed like ink on blotting paper, so I have used almost 10 litres of the stuff and still some to do.
And with Kris Kristofferson on repeat as my accompaniment what could be more pleasant. The repetitive action with the occasional break for making tea, or moving a few bits of furniture around becomes almost hypnotic. I enter some sort of trance-like state when painting. And though I would love it to be oils, and one day it will, there isn’t that much difference in a way. It is the getting lost in the thing that I love, that drifting away into another state, that semi-automatic but still using a fair bit of concentration that frees the mind to wander, sometimes singing along to Kris, sometimes lost in a whirl of thoughts even I cannot begin to retrace. A degree of evaluation of one’s life, and okay – this ‘aint the Sistine Chapel, but in its way just as valuable, if any human activity can be judged as having any value in the grand scheme of things.
So, a day painting, and now quite tired I am in a funny way elated. Escaped the rush and nonsense of London, the absolute meaninglessness of my work, the close and sometimes stifling personal relationships. Alone for a day or two I can begin to get my sanity back. And tomorrow more painting; white satinwood gloss this time which in a way is even more satisfying as it simply glides off your brush and on to the wood.
Tonight live music at Gambetta – hope it is good.