20 May 2009

Procrastinations of a Wednesday Painter

I often think I should have named this blog ‘Procrastinations of a Wednesday Painter’. I find myself more and more prone to extended bouts of it. I wake up each Wednesday, and idle in bed later and later. And when I finally arrive at “the studio” it takes me longer and longer to get started. I feel like every time I come back I start back at zero, as if the progression of the previous week has been wiped off the slate, and I need to re-learn and re-do, taking those first tentative steps again and again. It’s a confidence thing, by the end of the day I will be taking bold leaps and making bold decisions. But right now I’m timid and unsure.

I just took SPQR outside to check progress in natural light. Of course, you don’t really need to know that. (I don’t even find it peculiar anymore that I am addressing this to an audience that, as far as I know, does not exist. Is anybody there?)

Anyway, I digress, SPQR will be rested for a week, and then I will knock back some of the glow and let in the darkness. But what to werk on this week?

Just had a tea break which developed into another bout of procrastination – Sat down with a guitar and strummed away on some half-finished songs. At least it was creative procrastination, I suppose.

I am now trying to figure out the next step towards the perfect white neon glow.

You join me in the post-lunch lull. Werk has come to a complete standstill. I have too many options and not enough bravado. There are at least 5 canvases crying out to be taken in hand and led towards completion. And me? I’m paralysed. I can talk about it, analyse it, chastise myself for it, but I can’t find it in myself to act. I could take another breather, or I could take the bull by the horns…

I’ve not exactly risked a goring, but I have done a bit of werk. I propped a canvas on the easel, and it was clear that the whites were in need of attention. So I set about making them brighter and whiter than Simon Cowell’s teeth. It’s not a particularly creative line of werk, but it needs to be done. Call it essential maintenance.

The most rash thing I did in the interim period was to kick my stool over without looking where it would fall. It toppled harmlessly on a paper plate and an old sock…

I’ve talked (to myself) before about this fear I have of finishing paintings. I don’t think it’s a fear of actually finishing them per se, more a fear of messing up what I’ve done before. As I said at the beginning of this post, I feel like every week when I come back to these werks, I have to re-learn everything I went through the previous week in order to build up the confidence I had last time at the close of play. The only way I can see of eliminating this setback would be to paint for a few solid days in a row, so that it (eventually) becomes a more natural activity. But could I really devote more time to it – it would mean more days away from home and from Verity…

3 red stripes whitened, 5 more to go… number 4 done, fresh air and daylight break… I’m back to take on 5, 6, 7 and 8… 5 and 6 are freshly white… and 7 and 8.

Today I have painted 20 letters and 11 stripes white.

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