It’s Sunday and I just finished eating this steak-like dinner. It refer to it as steak-like because its original composition was a juicy, t-bone cut, however, after forgetting about it in the oven it came out like something closer to what a Birkenstock marinated in Lea & Perrins would taste like – Chewy but flavourful. Plus, it’s red meat and a good lady needs red meat at certain times.
This day has gone by quite lackadaisically. Had brunch at T.Mo’s place this mornternoon (thank-you T.Mo) and was sprightly with her on the backyard trampoline while we talked about various meandering thoughts out loud.
When finished, I head home with big plans for nothing to do in my head. It was the most fantastic thing. First thing I did upon arrival was sit in the middle of my sofa, feet on coffee table and just stare at my black television. I sat there for a while waiting to see if perhaps an idea would come to mind. Which it didn’t – not at that time. So I made my way into my bedroom; a place where I catch my deepest breaths. It’s quite a charming place. I stripped down and lay down; my sheets had this kind of cool, creamy feeling that put me to sleep almost instantly. An afternoon nap had commenced on account of not having anything to do.
I awoke at precisely 4:20 and didn’t get high, but I did lay still for a while. I could hear Marshall & Otis stirring outside the door and someone outside was ringing clothes in from a squeaky line. I began to visualize my living room for some reason and eventually narrowed it down to an image of my dining-room table (which in actual fact is a computer table, that I use for neither dining, nor computing) and my collection of unfinished canvas ideas. One in particular came to light as clear as if I were right in front of my easel and it looked complete. I took this to mean I needed to paint this afternoon and wandered into my living room to do just that.
As a tangential side-note – I find a lot of my impediments to completing these paintings stem from a dislike of the actual set-up, then tear-down of my art space. I would love to be good and focused enough to complete a painting in say, four sessions; but it’s never the way with me. I have a HUGE fear of screwing up that I think I’ve actually convinced myself that if I stop the painting the moment I fall in love with it then I leave no opportunity to bungle it up. I leave it where I love it and omit the chance of hating it. Then, this business of complaining about the set-up and tear-down is really just complementary to the hardship I cause myself by fearing artistic failure. It’s so funny that I do this because I don’t fixate on such things in any other aspect of my life. I very much just do.
People see my paintings and say, “Forget about failing, just finish them.” My reply is usually non-verbal and I just stare at whichever one we’re discussing until the silence explains everything and we move on to something else. The truth is just that… I really don’t know how to answer why.
Today I began painting books into a bookshelf. I cleared my head and just painted them. I let go of the pressure of perfection I put on myself and just painted. I’m going to take a photo and post it now – so I have a bit of accountability to the painting. I appoint my readers to hold me accountable to just finishing this. Okay? We work together.
Before today this painting was sitting this very way, sans books, for approx eight months. Eight months! Today I’ve accomplished nine roughed-in books. Maybe tomorrow I’ll finish the first shelf with rough books. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.
Painting brought me pretty well up to the moment I decided I wanted to eat my steak. Yes, if you do the math it took me about three hours to paint nine books. That’s three books an hour, twenty minutes a book. I suppose that’s okay for me as I only have my own progress to compare to. I may finish the rest of the shelf more efficiently now that I got the pages going the right way. The perspective was really off at first – thankfully oil paints are so forgiving. My steak cooked while I scrubbed my brushes, then I noticed a smell and realised I had been scrubbing for far too long and opened the oven only to be cloaked in over-cooked steak smoke. I nearly sprained a jaw eating much of my dinner but the fatty edging tasted so crispy and delectable. I completed the evening doing 60 sit-ups on my living room floor and here I am about to finish the sentence my post title started with.
… is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya.
Think about it.
It’s a lyric from k.d. lang’s version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. The original misses out on some brilliance that k.d.’s touched this song with. I’ve posted the link on my Facebook but will share it, with another song right now.
Some triv pour vous: This version is from the 2005 Junos in Winnipeg. This particular performance garnered her a two-minute standing o. As well, Leonard Cohen and his partner Anjani Thomas once heard k.d. sing Hallelujah and collectively decided that Hallelujah could actually be put to rest as it had reached perfection. That’s quite the accolade but she deserves it. I think this song was written for her to sing. Hallelujah | k.d. lang
Secondly, please enjoy Jeff Buckley singing Lover, You Should’ve Come Over. Lovely, beautiful Jeff Buckley – another in the collection of musical souls lost much, much too soon – accidentally drowned one night swimming in Wolf River Harbour while singing the chorus to Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.
Hear this song and think of a winter night. It has to be a cold, winter night – you’re not in the tropics – you light the fireplace but keep the room dark otherwise then get into the most comfortable position you can think of – it’s probably best if there is another body beside you – then close your eyes and be silent for a while.