Thursday June 16, 2005

“Listen to your body,” that’s what they say. As I’ve grown older, I’ve found it to be good advice, and pass it on to anyone who wants to hear. Sometimes it tells me to dance. Sometimes it tells me sing. And, sometimes, it tells me to be quiet, take it easy, and wait for a while.

Today, I was informed by a series of creaks and clicks from my joints that the third way was the best way for me. So I was quiet, took it easy, and waited.

As the temperature climbs for what is promised to be a hot and humid weekend, I may need to keep on doing it, too, at least until Monday.

Anyway, the day started out wet and clammy, dried a little, heated up and got even more clammy, and I went about my affairs slow and easy.

The postman delivered the magnifying glass this morning. I opened the packet with some excitement, and found that the contents demonstrated the old adage perfectly: “if it sounds too good to be true… it is”. A fine little instrument for fiddly jobs on objects that’re too small to hold and manipulate simultaneously, the lens is far too small for comfort when painting miniatures. So I donated it to Graham’s tool-box, and booked a trip to Oldrid’s, thinking wryly of another old adage, this time the one about the first thought being the best thought.

More successfully, I have bought me a stout plastic tool chest with compartments in the lid and a concertina-like fold-out set of trays that’ll do perfectly as a paint box for outdoor work. Come to that, it’ll do pretty well for indoor work, too. About twenty-four inches in length, and eight in both depth and height, it’s not the sort of thing you’d want to hang around your neck for field trips but I’m planning to stay very close to the car so weight is not a problem. I transferred all my new oil paints from the temporary cardboard box, along with brushes, palette knives, bottles of gloop and such, leaving plenty of room for other stuff as I get more ambitious. Cost of the new gizmo? Fifteen quid. Cost of an equivalent from an artist’s supplier’s? Seventy-nine quid. There’s another old adage there, too, but I can’t call it to mind just now.

The chest is made by Stanley Tools, in Israel, and has a small ‘Stanley’ label on the lid, just by the carrying handle. I intend to cover it with a new label: ‘Vincent’. There is doubtless a famous artist named Stanley, but I’ll go with Vincent. Had the right attitude to both paint and outdoor painting, did Vincent.

For all that, I suppressed my urge to go out and actually get stuck into the job. The auld body, while comfortable, told me it wasn’t up to exceptional things today. So I listened to it. It’s the only way to be safe. I am however completely and finally ready to go. It has taken me only four days to get geared up, and I count that as exceptionally rapid progress.


Stickford, Jun,'05
Last of the evening light



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