By Tomek Lipko
Adding wax to a paint produces an effect of matt, with an unrestrained reflex of light. The worst thing about it is that the surface of such paintings gets sensitive to even a slightest scratch. Any scratch would mean a damage to it all. Having to start painting anew, I just cannot keep on explaining this to my dispatch riders or drivers. Neither would I be willing to become a restorer of my own pictures! They do require special care indeed. Sheets of foil and other such protections won’t do the job. These paintings require being dealt with like with babies.
I was dreaming of a driver carrying one my painting with a pair of white gloves on his hands. In the afternoon, I get seated and start the operation of rescuing a damaged canvass. No-one, however, can possibly guarantee me that, once I have brushed one life over, the other one will expectedly be a better one.
It seemed to me that my last picture said to me,
Don’t you paint me, by now, I’ve got enough of you. I have started to increasingly provoke colours. Now is the year’s peak time in terms of the light’s beauty, although this light tends to last shorter and shorter. An explosion of cadmium-yellow in the woods. My kid gets a real photographic session from me, whilst in a meadow. Then we play hide-and-seek.
One of them lit up eventually. I do hate these moments, although it marks the end to a labour. The painting I’ve painted becomes alien to me from then on. I once used to getting paranoiac about it. When I first felt the baby make a move in my belly, I got pierced through with such a chilling shiver. The baby was starting to live, and I couldn’t help the course of things happening.
Sealing the door to the garden, and then getting enclosed inside, for the whole of the winter season. Wild animals more and more frequently visit our house’s vicinity, coming up very close. The day before yesterday, a roe-deer was staring inside, through the nursery’s window. Is it so that someone is giving us sings, from the other bottom of the looking-glass? I wait till a white rabbit appears.
I would sometimes enter my studio silently, to watch my paintings live, for a while. Can they breathe? And again, they started teasing me. The kid had quite an acute allergy then. It felt like the paintings were asking me if that is for the paints’ sake. As it then turned out, the allergy would appear against just anything. I mean, nearly anything. His body was cracking, getting festering wounds. He was crying, and me too. And then I recalled myself that initially, early in spring, I dedicated this work to him.
Traditionally, I’m getting scared with that commercial farce into which they have been forging Christmas time arduously for years now. The boxes with Christmas-tree glass balls, remaining open since twelve months ago, started swearing at me with all those colours. Leon got from me, apart from some environment-friendly toys, a painting I painted a year ago, as a gift. Let it be getting matured along with its new owner. He feels bad when it’s getting dark at three in the afternoon.
A week ago, I just got much doubt and painted one of those lives over.
I do believe the other one will be better, but have not managed to complete any single one ever since. I think I’ll get back to that one in some time.
Last week, two pictures lit up. Wojtek came along and took both with him. We talked of the exhibition. I don’t really like his reasons and arguments on what I actually do. He said, a war in Iraq was on, and I switched the radio on in the afternoon and it appeared to me, he was right. So, my paintings have gone to the war.
I didn’t sleep well last night. Paintings from the past visit me back again. In the night, I can’t stop thinking of what’s happened to those few I sold. I consider who may be getting irritated by them, and what could they still be up to. I ask myself to what an extent I could trust them, as they have given me a disobedience notice, haven’t they. When I paint, I try to filter all the bad emotions through myself; sometimes this leads to getting almost a physical pain. I’m getting aware, more and more clearly, that I won’t ever manage to sustain or preserve just anything I’d desire to.
Small objects have always been of an eyesore to me: the arrangement of colours when I’m throwing the laundry into the machine, the notes on colour trays at a paper-stand. Some time ago, in Madrid, I was a museum and gallery addict. I would spend all long days there, studying the paintings’ details. Where are they now? Now I am sitting with Leon, exposed to the sunshine of May, in a blooming and blossoming garden, and everything is inciting me there. I’m watching how the boy’ bright mop of hair provokes the pale-green gooseberry shrubs. And I’m watching how my boy’s hair has combed out the entire gooseberry bed. And then, I get transferred through the looking-glass. Oh how good it feels, always to have one well-coated canvas ready available at hand!
Now the boy feels better, but has to stick on a severe diet. The more he is running around me, the tougher I find to paint. In some past days, the order of the day was subject to the movement of the sun. These days, it is governed by the kid’s movements. We make bike trips. When my mother takes the toddler to a swimming pool, we go to a meadow, sunbathing naked. Today, I first got really attracted my two colour butterflies. An amazing image, recalling me of a biology handbook, high-school, 2nd form.
But somewhat later, they started irritating me. Certain contrasts do pinch me, and more and more intensively so.
I have completed my work on those paintings designed for the exhibition. I’ve got an impression that I find it more difficult to look upon the world now. And it has come to me just at this moment, when the summer holiday starts! I’d like to take a rest after the event. Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to take advantage of the last opportunity that my kid can use a flight service free of charge. And so we study travel agencies’ offer.
Baltic seaside, first time in five years. The prices are like in Italy.
I start getting more and more curious what holiday in the atelier might be like.
Today, while collecting the toys scattered around in the beach, I saw two new paintings appear against me. I did feel that colours are setting out on their journey again.