Saturday, 16 August 2008

Back On The Chain Gang

myself and Jenny Seagrove discuss painting.

Well, after 3 weeks of not smoking, I fell off the wagon. Slightly disappointing but I guess I'm torn between being healthier generally by not smoking or by the anecdotal evidence that smokers actually fair better at higher altitudes because they are used to the lack of oxygen.

What is a boy to do?!?!

Well, the plan is to completely quit smoking. It's not cool, I don't look like a smoker, I'm not happy smoking.


No, it doesn't. It doesn't at all. Who am I kidding?

I re-started smoking after the exhibition opened. It was a very nerve-wracking day having never done an exhibition of my paintings before. It's very different from the acting, I must say. With acting there are so many factors that are out of your control night after night at each performance or take. Costumes can go wrong, lines can go astray (or is that ashtray?), your scene partners could be having an 'off-night'. You could be having an 'off night', technical things could go wrong. With visual art, it's there, before you, for people to see and you're among the crowd gathered, picking up on snippets of conversation (I remember hearing some woman in tired blonde tight curls talking about one of my paintings, not understanding the humour in it. The one called 'Rutland'. Snatches of views in my memory of what it used to be like learning how to drive in Rutland on winter afternoons with the sun low in the sky, painting the land red. Clearly she didn't like it, or perhaps she didn't get just that one. It is the bastard child among the other oil pastels. Or perhaps it was the frame that it was in. 1930 velvet frames are really hard to paint for!)

It was the first sale that lit my cigarette. Like a mini celebration. Like the breaking of a curse, like the opening night not quite enough of a success without one. Stupid really. What sort of a celebration is it to stick a burning stick of poison in your mouth and suck deeply?

If I quit between now and Everest will I have a cigarette once the cricket game has been played to 'celebrate'? Idiotic.

To be honest, I can't wait to be sitting at Base camp with my sketchbook and pastels taking in the views, making memories. Perhaps another exhibition following whatever comes out on that mountain. Perhaps a joint exhibition with George, the bona fide photographer.

Ok, so this blog has more of a serious tone to it, but it's all randomly related. Like it says on the box.

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