The other day he asked me: “Why do you insist on using brushes when you paint?” “Look”, he says, “you could use the back of the brush, or use your fingers, or use those bits of rags you have for cleaning, or you could even use this old bit of election poster – perfect for spreading paint around…”
He likes to talk, our ‘Professor’, but he has a good understanding of what he calls: “the rudiments of painting”.
And when he mentioned the election posters, I realised that he was right. Those plastic election posters that would cut your head off if they ever came loose from their lamp posts – I had a stack of them in the studio (thinking that someday, they’d come in handy).
Anyway, I’d been thinking about the state of the world and imagining some sort of apocalyptic landscapes at the end of time, but mainly just tipping away in the studio, with a bit of this, a bit of that… Actually my studio looks a bit like some sort of chaotic Armageddon at the moment. Every so often the artistic detritus piles up to such an extent that I find myself confined to the middle of the floor with very little space to work…
“And it’s about time you cleared out this studio”, he said. “You couldn’t swing a cat in here”. Apart from the fact that I don’t have a cat and that if I did, I certainly wouldn’t swing it, I felt that this was just a bit too forward for a non-paying guest. And he sat there, ensconced in the only armchair in the room…
“But I like your latest attempt at apocalyptic landscapes”, he said, “although I’d try mixing it up a bit”, he said.
I couldn’t resist putting in this wonderful video of Krakatoa erupting recently. It was made by Photovolcanica. Anak Krakatau means ‘the son of Krakatoa’, by the way.