It takes a certain amount of peace and a sense of tranquility and stability to work over time on a painting…
I’ve recently finished three paintings. The fourth and fifth are in progress, but I’ve been somewhat consumed by remodeling our home. First by a contractor who made my life much harder rather than easier, and then by the remainder of the project as we contract out smaller pieces of it, and do quite a bit on our own.
I love tools and I love the creativity of envisioning a piece opf architecture and then bringing it into being. The smell of sawdust is amazing, brings back many many memories.
My first connection with my father was supposed to be washing the car when I was 7 – but I leaned over the hood of his charcoal grey Porsche 356 with a belt buckle on to polish the middle of the hood. I revealed the original baby blue paint. I didn’t wash that car again.
In my teens I worked with my father on his home, rebuilding kitchens, discovering that mechanical systems were not that difficult to grasp conceptually, and discovering stresses and structure and design and tradition. Most framing carpenters don’t necessarily grasp the full depth of the structure they are building to plan – they get it when they have seen a structure fall over or fail in some way – but they basically follow the plans and fill in the gaps with tradition. Spacing studs at 16″ on center. 4″x4″ for a 4′ opening, 8″x8″ for an 8′. Fireblocking. Many, many of the items not explicitely covered by the architects plans are resolved by the builders and the framers and the inspectors by tradition and hard-won knowledge.
When you are the homeowner, you have to deduce what the arhcitect envisioned and what the bulder filled in. You discover where, 80 years later, the design fell short. That remodeling was my first bonding with my father.
The last few months I spent with my brother before his sudden passing was remodeling a bathroom. We sorted out plumbing that my then-brother-in-law endangered the house with, and moved the small room at the end of the hall to a fully functional and to-code bathroom.
So I love building. But – there aren’t enough hours, and with the disruption caused by the construction and the demands of other peoples schedules, there just isn’t the space to move a painting forward. There’s a continuity of vision, a flow of production and feeling that has to occur. It hasn’t. It will.
Here’s the painting on the easel, viewed, waiting: