Thursday, December 15, 2011

Road-building 2, Lagoa; travel painting: my secret shame

Road-building, oil on card, 15 / 12 cm

A particularly shimmering day, God-made with Velázquez, perhaps.

This is the second of an open and occasional series tracing the building of this new suburban development being constructed on some heathland, which I had previously painted.

This time I am again on the rise, but about two hundred metres further over from the road.


My secret shame as a painter of landscapes and whose work is increasingly dependent on travel, is that I dislike travel itself.

I don't like the actual processes of travel, apart from trains or the buying of tickets and planning as I find I find this stressful. I have generalised worries that something is going to go wrong. I don't like having to speak foreign languages and I feel nervous in new places. I am suspicious of all strangers, especially if they want to help me. I don't like hotels and hostels and I don't like strange food. I worry continually about being robbed or losing something. I resent paying huge sums for simple items and consumables. I don't like being alone for long periods and I don't like losing my routines.

In short, I am a pitiful traveller.

Quite what the solution to this is, I don't know, though I have found that the best thing is to imagine a worst case scenario ( robbed and gang raped in the mountains of Tunisia, reads the headline in the Daily Mail, perhaps), then judge the likelihood of this, then place all the other pettier worries on a sliding scale, to illustrate their triviality.

The benefits gained in terms of inspiration well exceed these caveats.

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