Ambushed by a painting inside the head


It sprang at me when I snapped off the light after the bed time story. An hot intense blue sky. Ultramarine. Hints of pale pink peaking between the brush strokes. Then fading to a white haze at the low horizon. The ground spreading from it is a warm dark green plane. Its features are a web of furious brush strokes. But your attention is sized by something else.

It towers into the blue sky. A stack of simple geometry. Boxes. Cylinders. Spheres. The light it hard. Lime yellow highlights. Hints of mandarin orange and even red are in there somewhere. Seen only by your subconscious eye. The shadows of the interlocking shapes are cool blue green. Chill and refreshing in the heat of the other colours.

A painting has never sprung at me with such completeness before. The usual process is a stumble in the fog. Sifting tonnes of muddy colours and shapes that don’t “work”. Until a nugget of something bearable is glimpsed.

Now I see this thing against the horizon of the mind. A pyramid rising above the jungle. Even when I’m struggling to explain why Russia and Germany invaded Poland to a six year old. I’ll have to hack my way to it. Through the swamps of cheap acrylic, gel medium and unreliable oil pastels. I have to make it appear on paper. Or the image will eat me from the inside.

It’s a rather arty motive for the sloppy Sunday painter. Yet this image will not relent. It is mute to pleading and reason. More than the voices have ever been. I am here it says. Open the fucking door.

The hidden truth is that it will be fun trying to bring this thing into the world. It won’t look as good as it should be. The process will take several tries. As well as time that I will have to steal from the demands of life. For what? Rub paint on paper? To make meaningless shapes?

Perhaps I need to see a neurologist. I dread what might be found. Thing is pushing the weird a notch higher.

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