Monday May 30, 2005
I want to paint something big. Big, that is, in terms of size. I want to get the largest piece of card-mounted watercolour paper I can find and fill it with colour. Subject? Don’t know. Style? Don’t know. Flowers, probably, but only at the most basic level. Abstract or figurative? Don’t know. Both, probably.
Why the hell this ambition has hit me I really can’t say. I can’t claim it’s sudden. My mind’s eye has been urging me to paint, and paint big for some time. My fingers, each time I’ve pulled out another tiny bit of card, have ached to hold a brush that’s powered by my arm. Oh, and there’s a large sheet of cardboard from an IKEA flatpack standing in the corner of the garage and each time I pass it I get the urge to pull it out and paint on it. In oils. Heaven save me. Just as well I don’t have any oils just now.
It could be that for too long I’ve been quietly passing through my days, being neat and tidy, doing nothing that’d make a mess, and that the angel, or devil, that sits on my shoulder waiting for a weak moment, has found a way of making me want to stretch out, do something vigorous once more.
I don’t even have an easel to hold anything larger than 14 by 12. Inches, that is—I may have gone metric but when it comes to large sizes I still think Imperial.
Hey ho. I’ll pop into Boston tomorrow for my mail run and for provisioning, and slip into the Artstore shop to see if they have a piece of full Imperial watercolour board, or bigger, prop it up on the bench in Graham’s workshop, and see if I can’t get this silly urge out of my system. I’ve known all along that fiddling with little bits of card wouldn’t satisfy me for long.
We shall have to see what we shall see.
Other than that, I’ve spent the day carefully and painstakingly cleaning my computer. I ran RegClean, which found 71 kbytes of junk in the registry, in spite of this being a very recently reloaded system. I searched diligently through all the accumulated stuff to find left-over bits of programs that’ve long since bitten the dust. I ran anti-spyware and adware programs, and virus checked every corner of my hard disks with a freshly-updated Norton. There was no spyware on the system—Norton seems to have done a grand job of keeping it away. Then I cleaned out all the browser caches, and went through the cookies file with a fine tooth comb, clearing out all the junk. Finally, I ran the defragmenter three times to get the whole thing all bright and tingly-clean. Why? Well, I reckon that going over to an always-on broadband connection is a major step forward, a very significant upgrade, and I don’t want any loose ends hanging around on my computer to make the resolution of any problems more complicated than need be.
I’m really looking forward to a fast, always-on connection. It’ll change my approach to working at the computer, most significantly in being able to have a browser window open permanently to Google so that I can check facts and carry out impromptu bits of minor research any time I wish. It’ll impact my use of email, too. I tend to make an email check the first thing I do whenever I sit down at the computer and have spent more time over the years than I care to contemplate, waiting for the server to give me the latest batch. Now it’ll be waiting for me each time I start a computer session. I may even get better at answering mails straight away rather than letting them mount up until I drop into a blue funk about the backlog. Ah, I must turn off the audible signal when Ms Eudora has received mail, too. Don’t want that chattering away day and night…
Finally, I’ve been in and out of the garden all day, between showers. Mostly sitting quietly with my book but also wandering about looking at flowers. Flowers with their petals recently beaded with rain drops have a unique appeal, the very epitome of freshness. I tried for a few photographs to show my appreciation but there was a frisky breeze, too light to notice if it were not for the constant erratic movement of flowers and leaves. The way round this is to use a large piece of cardboard, folded and positioned appropriately, as a wind-shield, and to mount the camera on a tripod. Not something I fancied doing today. Besides… I have ambitions for the only large piece of cardboard in the garage.