Paint

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I have completely lost my ability to draw, paint, create any kind of satisfying visual work; yet another piece of me that’s been stolen from my brain/body by my brain/body. Devastated. What a waster, what a fucking waster, you’ve pissed it all up the wall…

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Watched Francis Bacon: A Brush with Violence (2017) and now I feel strange – re-obsessed with his life, art, lovers, mind, he’s affected me all over again – I have such a strong desire/need to paint my pain but I’ve no idea how to convey the weight of it – in my shoulders, spine, head, neck, heart, skin, hair. I try to write it, of course – I have always tried – but I still haven’t managed to accurately write the sheer fucking weight of [everything inside me]. Maybe there are no words for this, for this pain – I’m more convinced that it can be portrayed with paint, but how? A canvas must be found. A brush must be selected. An attempt must be made: not on my life, but with paint.

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All of my acrylics have dried out. My art box was stored in my friend’s garage, for what was supposed to be a couple of weeks in September. They remained there, during the winter months, until April. They wasted away before they were able to expend all of their magnificent potential. I am responsible for their deaths; even worse, I am responsible for failing to let them live. I do not deserve nice things.

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Nanny died 9 days before my 4th birthday. That was when Dad had to explain the cycle of life and death to me; that Nanny was poorly and God needed a new angel so he chose her; that Nanny loved me very much and she was up in heaven, watching over me. After the funeral, Dad came home and saw me out in the garden, standing in the middle of the lawn, holding a big piece of paper up above my head, facing skyward. He watched me hold it up for a short while, then carefully lay it down on the grass. Then I selected another sheet from the pile of paper by my feet, and held it up to the sky. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Showing Nanny my paintings,” I replied, before putting the paper down and holding another one of my artworks up high.

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Time to attempt to translate all of this pain onto this thin blank page; the way the paper shakes suggests that it, too, believes that it cannot hold the weight.

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It appears that I have not grown out of my old habit of destroying whatever I create with angry tears and naked flames. Tomorrow, we go again.

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You spent your savings
on drugs + space + fancy new paints
then failed to create
anything other than shame

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Tonight, we go again. I will not burn whatever I make, I will not rip it up or throw it away. (Although I probably won’t let it ever see the light of day).

17 thoughts on “Paint

  1. Fuck, I so identify with this, in so many ways. Right now, more than ever, I am completely stifled artistically, creatively and I’m sad/unhappy/fucked off for the first time in years. (I can’t even summon up my shit to comment on anything – but felt I had to let YOU know that I care about you). I’m royally pissed off about my own block, but I figure it’ll come back…sometime. I feel SO much for you tho’ – at a time when you need to get it out.

    Hate the cliches but ‘hang in there’…’you’re not alone’.
    Love you x

    • Honestly cliche is good right now.

      Our brains are WAAAAYYY overwhelmed with all of the super strong negative emotions brought on by the daily horrorshows and consistent fuckedupness of people [idiotic powerful white men], it’s no wonder we can’t create anything!

      My brain can process cliches because they’re familiar and true and not terrifying.

      So you know what: Fuck the cliche that using cliches is cliched* B-) <3

      *my brain cannot decide if that's a real word, it's too busy worrying about the whole wide world and everyone in it

      Thank you for being you xxxxxxxx

      • You make me smile (and sometimes laugh out loud) and you make me cry…often all of the above from the same piece of writing. That’s a great talent. ❤

      • Btw. My daughter and I share a flat and I read this blog out to her today. When I got to the part about your Nanny (coincidentally what I called my beloved grandmother) it actually moved her to tears. I wanted you to know how special you are. X

      • Yep my father’s parents were always Nanny and Pappy – oh no, now I’m crying aaahhh please give your girl a big hug from me! xxxx

      • I will. She’s home alone most of the time just now…no chance of her getting back to work for a while yet. Slightly different rules in Scotland. Xxx

  2. Art is doing, and hacking it up, redo, and hacking it up, until we’re, satisfied with what we’d, created, and, we may, never feel, fully satisfied with our work, but the creativity, it never stops.

  3. Nooo, don’t destroy it, we want to see. If you want a great warmup, first paint a tree branch with leaves and maybe a flower, it’ll get the juices running and by no means should you destroy.

  4. I feel every word. Been there. There right now. Everything I write is shit. Everything I create is shit. No one cares anyway. And neither do I…. yep. I know these thoughts. Because they are my thoughts too. Much love to you. May we find our ways out of these pits.

    • I wish you didn’t recognise these feelings at all – although, selfishly, your comment has reminded me that I’m not alone in this rut. I’m really cut up by the thought that you and I (and so many others) put SO much pressure on ourselves to create, beating ourselves up for not being brilliant, feeling like failures for not producing anything (or producing work that isn’t up to our own sky-high standards), when “no one cares anyway.”

      If (when?) I get out of the pit, I’ll throw down a rope ladder for you to climb out too, because I DO care about you and you writing <3

      Sending you love and warmth and all of the positive vibes I can muster xxx

  5. Its easy! You know how to whistle don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow! (whatever the f*ck that means) Better luck next round! X<3

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