The zen of painting walls.

I am a day late posting because I have been painting.

The lounge will be white, for which I blame the OH and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with a frieze, for which I blame me.

Previously we had apple white, which was done in the days of long ago, or about twenty years, when some genius in a paint factory, waved his mixing stick injudiciously and dripped a drop of green in the white and stirred it in, hoping no one would notice.  Then he went for tea break; on his return the hot girl from accounting was there with a chitty and the foreman was approaching, so he told them both he’d invented apple white which could be sold under the umbrella of white and also under the umbrella of shades of green, and he batted his eyelashes at the girl from accounts.  Twenty years later they are married with three children, the eldest has gone into the paint industry, though hasn’t produced anything that has earned everyone a ton of money yet.  It’s not his fault, everyone keeps telling him he has large shoes to fill if he wishes to emulate his dad.  The second son has, inexplicably, at Uni, though currently on furlough, filled in every form that asks what he wants to do with a degree in social sciences as: anything but the paint industry.

I could just have made that up.

The third son, who is only fifteen, keeps changing the colour of his bedroom and has just discovered, after a whole wall, that a drip of red in the white makes pink, which he’s going to have to change if he wants to entice his potential girlfriend hither to watch him play a game on his Xbox.

After the first coat, which was matt white on apple green, a variation relatively easy to play spot the difference with, came white on white, all matt.  The OH, who had volunteered to roller the middles of the walls and ceiling, and, as it turned out, the carpet, began to protest.  As the white went on the white, the reward diminished.  No one could stand back and say how much better that was, on account of it looking absolutely no different until it had dried, when the glaring errors marched before your vision like a battalion with their tongues out.  Of course you could have waited to see what would develop, but that would have been very similar to watching paint dry.

I, on the other hand, was enjoying it.

Of late, a term encompassing the past ten years or so, there has been much to worry about.  Yesterday would have been my father’s 101st birthday, had he not died in 2012.  The rot had already started creeping upwards a year earlier when I had played name the disease at the doctors and had been pointed in the direction of Al-Anon family groups.  Then there was five years of my mother, featuring the beginning of the broken arms.  Then the big broken arm, then the cancer, then the bungled surgery, then the ten trips to stay in hospital, do not pass go and throughout the OH getting worse, hence the flattened eyeball, what ever is he going to do next?

Oh yes, there has been an adequate sufficiency of stuff to worry about in the last decade.  I have a theory that those who do not worry, do not have an adequate grasp of the situation.

However, painting white on white, in comparison, is practically zen.  There is nothing whatsoever to worry about except getting the paint on there, with a dripless texture and an adequate coverage each coat and keeping the paintbrush clean and unrunny and there you go.  Backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, angle the brush down the edges, get it on. Get it on, bang a gong.

Washing the brush out is satisfying too.  You just keep going until you could eat ice cream with it.  Easy.

I have always loved painting large flat surfaces.  Apparently I threw a fit at the age of three when my father would not let me join in with painting the garage door.  Yellow.  Perhaps they did not want a forerunner of the Simpsons as a daughter, who can say?  I am told I cried for days.

I could probably have been a painter and decorator with encouragement.

In a world gone bananas with infection, painting a large, flat surface is very comforting.

The task before you is incredibly simple.  All you have to do is cover the surface with paint.  If someone calls you can gesture to your painty self and say: I’m sorry I’m painting the wall.  They go away.  Simple.

The Forth Road Bridge, we are told, is a structure which is always being painted.  As soon as they get to one end the painters have to begin at the beginning again.  I hope they have continued during The Present Difficulties. Roped on the bridge, in the breeze, life will have continued as ever.  Alone with your thoughts, make sure there’s enough paint in the kettle, mind the step.  Very zen.

Having a wall to paint in a world gone mad is a great blessing.

Zen as owt.


This entry was posted in About artists. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *