An odd sort of day.

Sundays are notoriously boring. But I was prepared for that.

I was looking forward to painting all day in front of the TV while watching various repeats of “The Xfactor”.
I was looking forward to being a bit of a recluse after a tiring week at work.

I spent the morning on a painting that I had started a few months ago and abandoned during final exams.

At lunch time, I decided to peel a sweet potato, to make crisps by frying it in coconut oil. Yummy huh?
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it that far as I managed to peel off my knuckle down to the bone.
Which proceded to bleed EVERYWHERE.

3 hours in Accident and Emergency, 1 glue gun and some bandage later,
I now have a human claw.   (I exaggerate slightly…)
One rule. Don’t get it wet or it will not heal. 

My dad and I then drove to see my granny in the nursing home.

“Hi Granny, How are you? I managed to peel off my knuckle” 
“…hello dear… that doesn’t sound appealing.”

Despite being very frail, she still had a bit of wit in her.

“Help me.”
“How can I help you?”
“Talk to me.”

So I talked for a while about paintings I had recently done, one for a colleague, one for my boyfriend, one just for me.

“I cannot work out what you are saying. I think you must be talking Dutch.”
“I can’t speak Dutch granny.”
“Egyptian maybe.”
“Nope. 
I am an eighth German though, and you are half. I think the German part is the humorous part.”
“You do need a certain humour to cope with being German.”

I watched as my dad cut her nails, filed them, and held her thin hands.
I watched the amount of care he put into it.
I watched as he managed to stay upbeat despite the elephant in the room.

“Help me.”
“What can I help you with?”

“I want a cup of tea. Is there any more tea?”
“Yes, here.”
“Good. I don’t want it. I need to go to sleep.”

I giggled. but it isn’t funny.
Like so many of those things, the giggle reflex came out so that I could cope with an overwhelmingly sad moment.

So we made to leave. I kissed her on her cheek.

“Where are you going?”
“You wanted to sleep.”
“I do not want sleep. Sleep wants me.”  

I then went home, had dinner and my mum found a plastic bag and an elastic band for my hand so I could shower.
I laughed because it looked like it should be kept in the freezer on ice.

An odd sort of day.

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Why I love painting more than I love writing.

I love painting more than writing because when I show it off to the world,
they can instantly see that it is good.
You can’t instantly tell if a book is good by looking at a manuscript.
No, its the pretty art on the cover that tempts you in.

I love painting more than writing because I do not get performance anxiety.
Committing words to paper is somehow harder, more stressful.
I don’t know a technique in which to do it properly, without coming across like I am trying too hard.
I have never worried about painting.
It is something I have.
Each time my paintings get better as my skills and accuracy improve.

I love painting more than writing because you can visibly build up layers.
You never delete anything, you are always adding to a painting.
Yes you can paint over parts, but they are always still there, telling the story of their own creation.
With writing, constant drafts and redrafts end up baring little similarity to the original.
Once it is deleted, that’s it.
No-one will ever know the route it took to reach the finished piece.

I love painting more than writing because it is not difficult to start,
and is is difficult to get distracted from.
My mind constantly fidgets when I write, which was tricky during my degree.
I check my phone, I fiddle with my locket and my earrings.
Art I can get truly engrossed in.
I can start one day and stay up late because I do not want to stop.

I love painting more than writing because you can tell what is wrong by stepping back from it.
I need other people to proof-read my writing.
I cant do it myself. I cant look at writing for too long.
And no matter how many times writing is checked,
there will always be something not quite right.

Painting, only you can tell what isn’t right. what isn’t quite there.
Nobody else can tell you it isn’t perfect. Its your baby.
No-one swoops in and touches up the painting once you are done with it.
Authors have editors. Artists don’t.

I love painting more than writing because I strive for perfection.
I never think “oh that will do.”
If it doesn’t look right to me, I will change it.
I put in that effort so that I am really genuinely pleased with it.
Writing is much more tempting to give up on when it is good enough.
I accept my best when I paint. Nothing less.

I love painting more than writing because it brings joy to others.
It isn’t as selfish as my writing can be. Not as self indulgent.
I paint what people want me to paint. I paint beautiful things.
I think “would I want this on my wall?”
I care what other people think about it. 

I love painting more than writing because it doesn’t need an explanation.
Sometimes my paintings tell my story. Not on purpose, they just have a scatter of emotions behind them.
Sometimes they don’t. And that’s fine. 
Paintings don’t need an agenda. They can exist context free.
They dont have to mean anything.

I love painting more than writing because instead of requiring me to think more,
I can think less.
I don’t need to “discuss” or “examine”.
I don’t need to craft together a carefully thought out argument.
I just let my hands do the talking while my brain quietens down.
I don’t get brain ache, I get brain break!

 

Hey, Imogen.
You just spent 2 hours writing this that you could have spent painting.