I am sitting in the front room Joni Mitchell through the speakers And she sounds so sweet and gentle That my heart goes out to her. But the kids out on the hot road Are all riding on their skateboards With loud and rowdy voices That bruise the peaceful air. But I’m sitting in the front room Joni Mitchell through the speakers Sweetly singing me a shelter From the harshness of the world.
… speaking of Yupo (well, I was but you probably weren’t) – I’m not one who gets a buzz out of pouring alcohol based inks, letting them do their thing without the artist’s intervention. It does seem to me, however, that Yupo is particularly suited to water based media (watercolour, acrylic, ink) and also to oil paint. With watercolour especially, the surface is fragile and benefits from a spray of fixative or, better still, from a frame and a sheet of glass spaced away from the artwork. Oils, applied thinly, glow from the whiteness of the Yupo below, and acrylics can show similar light. .
Having extolled such virtues, here is a little work that does little to demonstrate them …
“Rocky Shore” – acrylic and watercolour on Yupo Paper – more or less A5.
I am unimpressed
I look and my heart is hard
Like the thylacine
Will not walk for a photo
Such is my grandson
I played Parsifal
in its entirety yesterday morning.
A Wagner morning – Now, that is hard work.
In the afternoon in my humble studio
I chilled to Grateful Dead.
I dedicate this
Little bright psychedelic abstract
To the late great Jerry Garcia
… I call it “Ripple”.
Thin layers of transparent acrylic paint on Yupo Paper allow the white to shine through, giving a kind of special, almost illuminated effect.
“Ripple” – acrylic on Yupo 10x15cm
Striving for freedom –
Blousy and bursting and bold –
Our pink roses.
That week seems long ago.
Back then we could still go out.
Not go out to rub shoulders or any such thing. When it comes to physical contact, I’m all for social isolation.
Don’t try to hug this lad – he might bite!
That week before the Great Isolation, I wandered the streets of Adelaide while my Joy, and Amelia, and my infant grandson Little Bear shopped.
I wandered to Eckersley’s Art Supplies and bought a big wad of watercolour paper
– accidentally fortuitous because, even though I had no idea the virus would lock us in our homes just a week later, that wad of paper has served me well during the lockdown.
Who knows when I’ll be able return for more?
In King William Street, just outside the art shop, I was approached by two pretty young women.
That sort of thing doesn’t happen to me very often these days. It is no longer the 1970s, and I’m starting to look a bit grey and worn around the edges (just a little bit grey and worn).
Yes, they were pretty young women, apparently so friendly, and ever so chatty.
They tried so hard to talk to me about the book of Mormon.
Perhaps I look like someone who would be impressed by such an opportunity to partake in random theological chat and fancies.
A younger more impressionable bloke might have been pleased to be followed around in the street by two such gals, but alas, their love and admiration proved fickle.
Now, I didn’t tell them that, as well as being a past student of the sciences and some of the arts, I was the posessor of degree in theology (a real one).
I’d prefer them to simply see me as a retired, still handsome, old gentleman.
I don’t like to use my official title – but sometimes it can prove useful.
People often like to use so-called “ice-breakers” to facilitate communication.
Well, fortunately in this situation, my official title proved a real “ice-maker”.
When the head-girl flashed her million dollars worth of dental work in my face saying
“If we are going to talk, we really need your name – what can we call you?”
I replied, “Oh, ‘Reverend’ will do”.
Strangely this pair of religious enthusiasts lost enthusiasm. .They suddenly lost interest in me and wandered off in search of easier prey.
I wandered off happily with my watercolour paper, and sought out my family.
We shared tea and biscuits, and motored homeward carefree and content.
Then came the virus lockdown.
In the dead of night
A single car on the road
Sounds like a parade.
HIM – (after watching Maeve O’Mara’ food programme on SBS) – “I want wine”
HER – “It’s supposed to be another alcohol free day”
HIM – “Bugger!”
HER – “If we say we’re gunna do it, we should do it – no wine”
HIM – “Ohhhh”
HER – “I know, let’s have white”
HIM – “OK – I suppose that will do”
And it does …
Diary Memory – March 2015
The old man wakes way before dawn.
He reads for a while.
He researches Tang Band full range speaker drivers, but only briefly.
The galahs awake in the trees outside.
The skies pinken.
He watches a bit of the news on ABC 24 using his iPad.
He allows his daughter to have first access to the shower so she can spend all the time she needs to get ready to set off for a day at university.
While she’s showering he tidies the kitchen a bit whilst looking forward to the warm trickling waters from the shower-head.
She finishes in the shower.
The sleeping wife springs from the mattress and enters the shower while his back is briefly turned.
Oh the cruel irony of it all.
Another week starts.