42 today. I find myself standing in the clothes section of Asda waiting for Yolanda and watching. It's very easy to criticise the shoppers that whizz up and down the aisle in front of me with their considerable girth (in a lot of cases) and strong Brissel accents. But then it strikes me - I'm here, I'm one of them, standing, clutching my 3 for £3 boxer shorts. 42. Half way through my working life and still buying the £1 a pair pants. Wow - I've really made it.
William Wray - that's the name of the artist who is my latest inspiration (I know his name now as I got a book of his for my birthday - check him out at www.williamwray.com). His stuff gels with my notion that my paintings need to be less reliant on the location and more about the light/colour/composition etc. I don't know what it all means, but in town I settle on a less well known view that I think I can do something with.
1. Lady: "With your eyes, can you see the detail on those balcony railings up there?"
I allow myself to be distracted, but can't really see anything better than her and not quite sure why it matters.
2. Man: "Do you know where the nearest cash point is?"
I pause to think whether there are any closer than the high street.
Man (in a hurry): "Where the banks are ..."
Yes, I know what a cash point is! I point him in the right direction.
Sht sht sht. I'm a bit hungover - not really bad, but just enough to make me really GRUMPY (again). I don't Twit - yesterday I forgot and today I just think it's STUPID.
Sht sht, grump grump. I set up on Widcombe Hill, trying to do something, but I don't know what. I make a total pig's ear of the painting. It starts badly when I realise I haven't got the right colour paint for the sky and then it just goes sht. So much for inspiration. (I almost don't put it on the blog because I'm that angry about it.
Later in town & I need some sort of confirmation that I can paint.
William Wray - he manages to make paintings of nothing look like something (rubbishy description). I almost set up to paint in the Studios car park to paint my car - that would be a WW thing to do. Almost, but I don't, unable to face the questions from any passing artists if it all goes pear shaped.
I walk into town. I pass a group of Yoofs sitting in and standing around a comfy chair on the pavement - WW slice of life? Maybe, and they would make a good subject, but I move on. I end up at St Ann's Close (not even on the map according to the passing postie). I've painted this before and not done it justice, so I'm hoping to prove to myself that I am getting better.
It sort of goes okay, but I don't finish it so I guess the jury's out. Grump.
Back to the studio and the Yoofs have started on the Stella. (They're making a strong case for banning cheap booze. Grump.)
Back into town to do the Mothers Day thing. Yoofs are still enjoying the sun and the beer.
3.30 ish and back into town for the last time. The kids are still there (4 hours and still going strong). I pass the doctors clinic and they are still advertising a completely new approach to varicose vein treatment. I am less tempted now as I know that they LIE - the sign is two years old at least.
I've got a different easel than earlier and setting up I realise I forgot to clean my brushes and palette last week. Grump. The brushes are solid and mixing the paint is hard work. Grump.
A woman asks how much to paint her portrait. I give her a price and she balks. I give her a card and she walks away. Immediately I realise my error - she would have made a great subject - a middle aged coloured lady with a beautiful round face, I would have loved to have painted her. (Damn. Grump.)
[You said you were from Whiteway and if you're reading this then please get in touch] [ha! using the power of the blog and its enormous following to reach out - ha!]
Verdict: Day is a big pile of pooh (mood obviously improving as I stop cussing) - luckily I've got my Asda pants on.