I read a line yesterday in an article on the web -
“The dead are no longer welcome at their own funerals, so how can the living send them on their way?”
I have a rough idea of how to find the original piece again but I don’t really want to. You see, I’m a magpie when it comes to words. I like taking interesting lines or sentences and flying off with them and feathering a large word document with them on my laptop.
Those disjointed words can be more interesting when re-read out of context and I find can throw up a sparkling light that otherwise could be dulled when surrounded by reasonable rational discourse.
They can also feed my own writing and when I’m stumped in life or thought, I read back through this, now 100,000 word document which I have amassed, and something new always jumps out at me.
It’s a habit, one of my few good ones, and better still it works!
If only I could do something along the same lines for my painting?
Well, I do have my sketch books and I use them daily. I don’t really care for sketching from life but more from memory. It enables me to distill down the experience to the original elements.
It could be a snatch of conversation overheard when I’m walking past someone talking on their mobile phone on the street. Or two fat ladies talking to the butcher at the meat counter. Or a child complaining to his or her mother about their lowly existence. Stuff like that.
Do the sketch and then write around it in large bubble like letters. Always looking for something – the artist’s mind. Looking for a way in, to unlock the secrets of existence.
At this stage of life, I can’t say that I’ve turned this practice into a coherent effective system for writing or producing interesting paintings. Scraps of paper are flung everywhere and fountain-penned sketches pile up in tottering wastepaper baskets.
It’s finding the gems and in this world today’s diamonds could turn out to be tomorrow’s winter coal supplies. Equally, the reverse could also be the case. So we persist in our practices, in the resigned understanding that we couldn’t stop anyway even if we wanted to. Life is just too interesting.
You many have noticed that I’ve re-arranged the galleries on the site; this is just to make your choice easier when it comes to purchasing and also to make room. I need a lot of room because there will be a lot of paintings, as the notebooks continue to fill up.