I paint with words. Always have, my skill with the concrete arts being negligible shading into embarrassing…
Since I was tiny, I have had a very sensual approach to life. Enraptured by the senses from the earliest age, and enjoying the effects of nature and the elements upon my own body, I touched and looked and listened and tasted and smelled. I drew the world through all five senses – and remain a very visual writer (and the rest!).
I adore the vibrancy and brightness of paint. I love to touch it with hands or feet and make marks upon large pieces of paper! I like to inhale its distinctive aroma, and listen to its gloopy gurgle in the tin when stick-mixed.
I thrill to the clever things those with more skill than I possess can do with a palette and a few tubes of paint – and my admiration knows no bounds when confronted, let us say, by a Pre-Raphaelite painting:
I have got this one – not the original, obviously! – on my Eastern wall in my Study, and, every time I see it, I have an inner, ‘Wow!’ moment, just this total awe that someone had the vision, the talent, the model, the inner sparkle to produce anything this sublime. That the materials of our earth have been adapted so splendidly and in so diverse a manner is nothing short of a miracle to me – showing, as it does, the wondrous side of humanity.
I find it incredible, fascinating – and oddly moving – that artists the world over use the apparently humble medium of paint to express so many of life’s more profound and beautiful moments; that paint is so universal, to egalitarian, so utterly hands-on.
Paint does not care what colour you are. It gives not a toss about your political or religious affiliations. It does not matter to paint whether you have your full complement of limbs or not. As long as you are capable of applying it to paper, cardboard (or any other intriguing surface), and, in so doing, letting loose the fairies of your inner Wonderland, it does not judge you in any other way.
We could learn a great deal from the attitude of so-called inanimate objects. After all, they were mostly mined from the Living Earth in the first place!
If I can get anywhere close, with words, to the incredible gift and mastery of the very best painters, I shall be content!