Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Watching paint

" You're supposed to be mixing it, not bloody photographing it."

He just doesn't understand the creative impulse. There are good reasons for mixing your own paint. You get the same practical buttercream colour ( I refuse to call it magnolia ) every time, any time, by adding one tube of raw siena to five litres of any white paint, in theory, or at least the same tint if not the same shade. We use this on woodwork and ceilings throughout the house. The other good reason is the fun of doing it.

You squirt the tube into the paint and pretend you're Jackson Pollock,


Then you stir it a bit, and maybe you find a face in it,

swirl it round a bit more,

and a bit more,


and a bit more still,


give up with the bamboo stick and decide you'll sacrifice another kitchen whisk, to get a smooth emulsion.


For at last, after ten years, we are decorating the living room. The problem is, as soon as a space becomes even remotely usable it is used, becomes colonised with the effects of living. Bookshelves are inhabited by books before they can be varnished, and you can become quite used to plasterboard with just a skim of gesso on it...

Tom dislikes painting, so I do quite a lot of it. He can do wallpaper.

And despite his sometimes disparaging attitude to my artistic tendencies, of his own accord he got two long vertical frames of five windows each for me to put ten of my photographs into, to hang one each side of the wall light. Which is a nice kind of icing on the cake.

16 comments:

andy said...

I'm not enough of an art connoisseur to know whose art that amazingly Quasimodo-like face reminds me of, but I know it reminds me of someone's! (And my grammar there is at about the same standard as my artistic awareness!!)

zhoen said...

I fell in love with Jackson Pollock painting only after I stood in front of one in person.

Tom disparaging, well, I guess as long as his actions show otherwise.

Plutarch said...

The one with the caption "swirl it round a bit more" is the face of a creature with fearsome teeth, in the existence of which I believe completely. Does it live in one of your paint tins? Does it answer to a name?

Tom said...

How delicious.

Dave said...

So will you hang these photos of the mixing paint on the painted wall? That would be way cool.

Tall Girl said...

I see several kids whose great excitement is the mixing of two colours of paint in the palette (smaller scale, same joy)

Robin Starfish said...

Catching up today from quilts to paint...too much fun!

herhimnbryn said...

Yum!
The Chemist in our household would say exactly the same thing L. And having been a 'Paint' chemist for ten years, I am the painter, he got fed up with watching it dry!

marja-leena said...

Fantastic photos, aren't you clever!! I think we need to get together and compare notes on long running home renovations and decorating, heh.

jzr said...

Oh what fun you are having! Love those photos!!

Granny J said...

Tom took the word out of my mouth -- delicious! I am reminded of those fancy ice creams with swirls of butterscotch and, of course, plenty of nuts.

Lucy said...

Thanks all.
Andy - I'm not sure either!
Zhoen - our friends' 7 year old did a school project on Jackson Pollack, they all had lots of fun drippin apint onto big sheets of paper on the floor!
Plutarch - I suppose in some atomised sense the paint monster is still there in the tin... I shall be afraid to open the lid now.
Tom - thank you, nice to see you!
Dave - that would be a fairly funkily post-modern type of idea...
TG - Yes, same pleasure, but doing in a big tin of thick paint prolongs it enormously.
Robin - hope you don't have blog indigestion!
HHB - Cobbler's children, I suppose...
ML - life is becoming...
JZR - thanks, more fun really than putting it on the walls.
GJ - it is very creamy. I think the toffee type ice creams are among my favourites.

Helli said...

perhaps the colour you were mixing when the face appeared was Edvard Munch's "The S'cream"?
Helli

Lucy said...

Ah, of course! Thanks Helli!

Catalyst said...

You have a wonderful eye, Lucy. And I agree with the others, that paint mix looks good enough to eat.

leslee said...

Those are so cool! It reminds me of what I used to do with my ice cream when I was a kid - stir up the vanilla with the fudge ripples or caramel sauce. It really looks quite edible.