And now it’s time to step forward through the storm.
I sat, within my subconscious, on that shingle beach. It was late summer and the night was warm, yet over to the east a windstorm was brewing, its peripheral gusts pushing seawater onto my cheeks. I picked up a pebble and threw it towards the ocean, losing sight of its mass long before it reached the waves. Then, in a moment of brilliance, a bowler rose before me, larger than any that night, just as the moon’s half-light broke through the density of the squall. What magic, I thought, though I knew this to be a fallacy; for all one must do to see such glory is open their eyes.
‘They can be an irritant,’ my grandmother once told me. ‘They take a long time to dry and are difficult to wash off your hands!’
And so, courtesy of my grandmother’s brief angst towards oil paints, I didn’t touch the medium for twenty years. How impressionable children can be.
Yesterday I found some old oil paints in my friend’s paint box.
There’s nothing quite like painting the ocean. I wanted to be on that ship, with the waves crashing overhead and the taste on salt on my tongue, until I remembered my stomach.