Jialing Boats I (below) and Jialing Boats II (left)
Both 36cm x 53cm
Oil on Paper (coated with white glue)
The nice thing about sitting at home and doing nothing is that ideas generate. Calmly calculating, making plans, thinking about things without actually doing, continually thinking, thinking thinking, you realize the things that are at the top of your "I must do"---no. "I need to do" list. There's nothing that you must do. Must is such a pushy, demanding word that seems to take us off of "go with the flow" freedom. Need, on the other hand, seems to have more to do with inner yearning. For example I needed to ride down to the bus station on my bike and buy three Chinese fritters. It wasn't something that I had to do.
Yesterday my need to paint the boats being built on the south bank of the Jialing River reached a climax. Just as I was preparing to go a painter neighbor called and invited me to go down to an old port where he often does paintings. After a long talk in my kitchen about the state of the arts as we see it (which means very little) I convinced him to go with me down to paint the boats.
In one chilly afternoon I managed to complete a list of "needs", needs simmering some for half a year now. In one afternoon, I felt oil gliding across sized paper once again, I smeared paint with throw-away plastic kitchen mitts, I mixed charcoal lines with oil color and I finally got down to paint a part of this urban area that I have always loved: life along the river.
The Spring Festival being right around the corner, the workers have all departed except for one lonely guy who has to watch the work site to keep people form stealing scrap metal. This means that the work site will be vacant for the next 2 weeks or so. Enough time for me to get quite a few paintings done.