Oil on Canvas
It was the best time and it was the worst time of day, to paraphrase the opening line of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, as I write this at 3:00 AM. Whilst I look at the completed painting before me and I might add struggling to come up with a name for the work, which is quite often the way, but rarely at 3 O’clock in the morning. Like an old waltz from the 1920s “Three O’Clock in the morning “ which has managed to stay popular in recent times by various contemporary singers, with plenty of romantic talk “We danced the whole night through” but unlike the cushy romantic song there wasn’t a beautiful girl in my arms… just a whole bunch of paint brushes that need cleaning, and the task before me of deciding to head back to my warm and cozy bed where my most loving and wonderful wife awaits, and I can count on one sure thing she will be at full REM mostly because I will not be there gracefully tormenting her with my sleep disrupting snoring.
There is something magical about painting in the smallest hours of the morning, no one but you, and you all alone with your imagination, and I suppose that could be scary enough but once you look at that formidable empty canvas which contributes to a most assuredly daunting task ahead, two or more perturbing emotions appear, you have an idea that you worked out in your head and most assuredly know that you have never once, not even come close realizing it in your painting. And there is the constant annoying internal chatter, who or whom am I painting this for? My Instagram feed…or something much deeper and much more meaningful I am painting this work of art following my own waltz that plays in my mind.
So this is the life of an artist, or at least my life, but when you think about it there’s virtually no time in the 24 hour clock that the airwaves are not crowded with society’s doings, comings and goings, not to mention the constant urge to check your mobile device “social media at three AM anyone?”. For me, the petit hours of the morning are a most imaginative time. Egads