It is getting cold in the studio and it is the perfect time to come paint in the day. But as winter comes closer it is harder to get up when the sun is still high. As if rebelling against the end of summer. Here half-finished portraits hang on every corner of every wall. Smudged charcoal and agitated lines shout from every face of every room. Ceilings are blue skies and red blood. Floors are creaking wood with splinter hazards. Old rags and old clothes hang on old racks. Books of women’s literature, nude photography and voice studies. Sporadic pages of erotic poetry. Decades of framed artwork and generations of collected jewellery on top of a fashionably out-of-tune piano. On the floor next to it, fresh pages of agitated lines and impatient colours left to dry. A fridge with two apples, bags of months-old frozen bread, and jars of years-old preserved pickles. Pots of plants of unknown species dying of neglect. Occasionally a neighbour sings or a pipe hums or a door slams. Some days the painter is magically inspired and some days she is mysteriously blocked. Dozens of angry sketches thrown on the wooden floor and the next day, they somehow turn into the most beautiful accidents. Some stains do not get washed off for days and some splinters stay in forever. Some days it is like spitting blood and some days it is like swallowing peas. When the painter is thoroughly exhausted she lays on the bed too short for her legs which dangle off the edge. Staring into the suspiciously blue fluffy sky and the surprisingly clean wooden fan. Breathing in jazz and breathing out colour.
Some piano thrills are a dash of paint, some clusters are light scribbles. Hopping on the keys like hot stone, moisturising the canvas like flaking skin. Crumbs of pastel and stains of oil, strands of bristle. Trying not to be careful, careful not to try, stabbing the white. When the pianist relaxes the colours exhale into a murky cloud, then spit carelessly into a corner. Under artificial light eyes are stressed and challenged. Patterns and patterns repeated, variations and variations reiterated, the painter throws sketches on the floor like a child throwing a fit. There is no “zone” except a tireless left brain that tries too hard. When the mind wanders into the absurd news reports on the radio, the painting paints itself and regardless of how brainless it appears to be, it is alive with ugly originality. Ugly sketches must be kept so that they can be loved when aesthetic values catch up. Despite how disturbingly ugly they are, the ugly sketches know that everything appears in order to make a valuable appearance, even if only to be witnessed by the creaking wooden floor and crumbling walls, or to be buried deep inside our shameless psyche.