1 April 2009

The Fool

I have just dealt with the logistical nightmare of manoeuvring a very big canvas through a slightly smaller hole. I made the canvas to the biggest dimensions that would fit through the loft hatch (165cm x 118cm), and it’s a tight squeeze. I even had to move Jesus to get it through the hole.

I’d taken the canvas out of the loft in the first place in order to get some perspective on what I was painting. It’s one of the pitfalls of working in a space that only has a width of about 2 metres – You can’t get far enough back to have any idea if the composition is working. So, outside it went, installed on a brick wall. I wandered down the garden and advanced from afar.

All seems to be in order, although its monumental scale is diminished slightly by the big outdoors… Drag the seascape/neon combo back up the ladder where it looks vast and foreboding once more.

Ye Gods! Evariste’s disturbing voodoo-psyche chant has just come on. “Connais Tu l’Animal Qui Inventa Le Calcul Integral?” (translation: “Do You Know The Beast Who Discovered The Integral Calculus?”) [listen to it at our L'Amour Electronique blog, and scare yourself silly]

It is 10.55am: Time for a cup of tea. It’s a balmy spring day, but I must get back to work.

You’ll have noticed those two white strips down either side of the canvas – the scars of a deep and untold history. Those scars are now gone, patched up, forgotten, buried under a fresh layer of paint…

And the beach is now obliterated – a mess of dripping oil paint, charcoal and water. Splintered carbon and plaster dust fill the air, the dizzy taste of white spirit at the back of my throat…

You see what I mean about getting perspective in such a small space? I had to lay down with my head under a table to get this shot.

Time for some fresh air, sunlight and more tea. It is 4.04pm.

Tea break report: There’s an eerie sirocco-like wind blowing up outside; I worked out a pleasing middle-eight for another dirge-like ditty I’ve had hanging round my mind for a few months.

More werk on the beach. I draw the line at painting in every bit of shingle.


Today was April fools day. Which leads me to ponder: Who is the greater Fool? The Fool, or the fool who reads his musings?

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