...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Linseed Oil

Yesterday I spent $37.70 on replenishing my oil paint supplies. I haven't oil painted in... hrm... at this point, at least 5 years I think? I don't know what ever happened to all my old oil paints and brushes and the like, but they probably got lost long ago in the mess of my mother moving. But when I move around my apartment, my body screams out to be stretching itself, plying itself into art in some way. I've noticed this for the past couple weeks and was trying to appease it through occasional sketching. But it needs something that pulls out the movement of more of my body, and painting does that. It's like a ballet.

Cracking open some of the paint and the bottle of linseed oil though--man. That scent, that earthy rich scent at your fingertips, I cannot even tell you what an excellent sensual thing it is. Like plunging your fists into a muddy earthy garden right after it's rained. It's an amazing and stimulating scent.

I am no good painting with colors. It drives me mad. I know basic rules of painting--always do darks before lights, for example, because you can always get a dark color lighter but it's fucking hard as all get-out to get a light color darker. That sounds almost worthy of some sorta philosophical analysis, some painting cum Aesop's fable or something. Anyways, I know the basics. I think I have a natural instinct for drawing and painting anyways--not necessarily a TALENTED instinct, but I can sense what to do, where to go. But colors just floor me.

There's a scene in that movie Girl with a Pearl Earring where "Vermeer" asks his servant-girl to look out the window at the clouds and tell him what colors she sees. The typical response would be white and blue. But she starts rattling off all these fantastic colors with this distracted look of utter admiration in her eyes.

That!! That glittering admiration!! That plethora of colors hidden in any one thing! That's what makes painting so goddamn impossible. That's what makes me admire the shit out of painters.

Last night I carefully set up a still-life on the top of my roll-top desk: a green bottle of red wine and two wine glasses, one upright, the other fallen on its side. I am cheap and failed to buy an easel, so I painted with the canvas propped in a ridge on the desk's roll top.

The light from outside fell, spilled, danced through the window, warming up the wood, trembling ecstatically through the deep reds of the wine, faltering on top of the glasses. And as I painted, it slowly trickled off, puddling up onto the floor and then seeping through the floorboards to the neighbor downstairs until only the bright nausea of the kitchen light was left.

That was when I stopped and left the colors to coalesce and rejuvenate and sing through the morning in a warm chorus until tomorrow when they can taunt me some more.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home