I want to paint.
A friend asked me the other day how I envisaged my old age, and I laughed that I always imagined myself retreating to a little villa on a beach on a Greek island, and painting enormous, sploshy, abstract paintings.
But I don’t paint. So how can that happen?
An excerpt from my journal entry today says it all:
“I want to make art but I keep telling myself its too difficult, that I’m too tired, and that painting upstairs [in my study] is a pain because I have to keep going up and down for water and cleaning brushes etc. I want to make big, sploshy paintings, but I keep telling myself there’s nowhere I can get painty and messy, and anyway, it wouldn’t come out the way I wanted it to.
“Its all excuses. Its as if the idea of painting, the idea of wanting to paint, is more seductive than actually doing it.
“Because in my imagination, I am a great painter, whereas when I do it, I am rubbish because I never practise, or I haven’t learnt the theory properly. Its so easy to say “they never taught me anything useful at school” or that Bob Taylor [my graphics teacher] was right that I didn’t have enough originality to go to art school.
“The fact is that I don’t paint. What I do is make excuses as to why I don’t paint, which is actually so much easier and emotionally less complicated. And I know if I did, I would paint something and be so depressed that it didn’t come out looking like it did in my head, and then I’d be stuck all over again. And anyway, I SHOULD be concentrating on writing. [Note the Bingo! word there.] But I know today is a day when the frustration is building up, when I am stopping myself doing something creative because I SHOULD [Bingo!] be resting, when in fact I’d feel better if I actually did something instead of stopping myself, and I’d certainly be less grumpy.”
So today, instead of raiding the bookshelves for all the lovely art books I have bought instead of painting, (another displacement activity, see above, see also books about writing), I am going to make some art. If only for the sake of Husband, so he doesn’t have to come home to a bad-tempered, creatively frustrated, vicious wife who wants to take it out on him!
I’ll let you know how I get on.