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Nothing and nobody epitomises my love/hate relationship with art quite like an old school friend I bumped into the other day.

You know the kind: well-rehearsed cliches tumble off the tongue like blobs of mercury, leaving you with a mouthful of sawdust and the temptation to commit a seriously violent crime.

Why can’t I bullshit like that in good conscience, you berate yourself while feeling like an old hypocrite, and rightly so.

Of course, it’s not entirely his fault my scepticism about The Art World had assumed epic proportions over the past few decades.

I blame this creeping alienation in large part on the pervasiveness of money/ego/elitist- driven pretence. (I thought I’d better not use the word bullshit twice in the first half dozen paragraphs, but apparently not everyone exercises such discretion.)

“Don’t let those bullshit artists spoil your innate desire to express yourself creatively,” the unrestrained wife chimes in with a cliché of her own, before adding: “Not after what they did to your film scripts in Hollywood.”

Well, thanks very much for reminding me, dear. And then comes up with this:

How about watercolour?

Come again.

Watercolour painting, You! Get it?.

My initial reaction to such well-meaning advice was typically negative. Not entirely unreasonably, I thought at the time.

After all, we all know watercolour is for fuddy-duddies, right. Sells for peanuts and anyway, who‘d remember Jackson Pollock had he been rolling around drunk on oversized canvasses covered in boring watercolour pigment rather than bucket loads of sexy/gooey oil paint, plus other unidentified substances, no doubt.

But, wait a minute, isn’t that what you’re after - to have your cake and eat it too? To let watercolour free you of the gaze of all those who disdainfully liken this time-honoured medium to something slightly above carpentry or carpet cleaning>

Yes you are! So watercolour it is.

What artful bliss! Thank, darling, for the inspiration, and for helping me recognise my true calling, apart from washing the dishes.

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20cm (W) x 20cm (H)
Watercolour Paint
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36cm (W) x 28cm (H)
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