memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Posts tagged ‘painting therapy’

More Painting Therapy

Oh, these chilly late October afternoons when the days draw shorter and I have dress warm, dear,  as my mother used to urge us and tomorrow’s yet another dratted public holiday and I’m feeling low and moan, moan and whinge, whinge.

I decide to start a new painting – that always cheers me up. Accordingly I wheel myself up to the first floor to my atélier, take up a fresh sheet of gummed A3 paper and sit in front of it for about five minutes, my mind as blank as the paper in front of me … I pull myself together and sweep a confident pencil stroke diagonally the paper and then another and a shorter one and then I’m off.

STAGE 1

The next afternoon I enter the uncomfortable world of colour. The picture is indicating organic growth of some sort (there are no straight lines; I have denied myself the comfort of my trusty ruler).

STAGE 2

Next day I’m two minds about whether to carry on with it or abandon the wretched thing and just bin it but being irredeemably lazy I settle for the former in the hope that my retrieval skills can rescue it.

STAGE 3

The final afternoon sees me doing some major tinkering, touching up, colour adjustment and generally fiddling about with it. At ten minutes to four I stop, spray it with a cheap and rather nasty-smelling hair fixative and call it a day.

BULB TO FLOWER – PAINTING BY THOMAS MILNER

Karma and painting

How to restore order out of mental chaos and paint a meaningless picture at the same time.

I have a theory that painting symmetrical shapes randomly is both soothing and therapeutic.

First you take a piece of gummed A3 paper and a pencil and then (staying firmly inside your comfort-zone) you play around for about an hour and come up with this:

STAGE 1

The next day you start to colour it in. you are unsure about the colours but are vaguely thinking yellow and green. You use a water-colour wash and by the end of the hour your uncertainty is showing.

STAGE 2

On the following day you decide to deploy the acrilics.

STAGE 3

STAGE 3

And finally after doing the fine brush work and just generally fiddling around with it and tidying it up you consciously decide to stop before you spoil it any further.

You sign it and then pause to give it a name – Asymmetry.

ASYMMETRY / PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

Asymmetry

How to restore order out of mental chaos and paint a meaningless picture at the same time.

I have a theory that painting symmetrical shapes randomly is both soothing and therapeutic.

First you take a piece of gummed A3 paper and a pencil and then (sticking firmly inside your comfort-zone) you play around for about an hour and come up with this:

STAGE 1

The next day you start to colour it in. you are unsure about the colours but are vaguely thinking yellow and green. You use a water-colour wash and by the end of the hour your uncertainty is showing.

STAGE 2

On the following day you decide to deploy the acrilics.

STAGE 3

STAGE 3

And finally after doing the fine brush work and just generally fiddling around with it and tidying it up you consciously decide to stop before you spoil it any further.

You sign it and then pause to give it a name –  asymmetry

ASYMMETRY – PAINTING BY THOMAS MILNER

Invisible Paintings

AN INVISIBLE EXHIBITION - by THOMAS MILNER

Since last Thursday there has been a little show of my paintings up in the entrance hall.

So far, not only has no one commented on them, but I don’t believe that anyone has even noticed them, which certainly puts me in my place, doesn’t it?

I do believe that I’ve discovered the formula for producing an invisible painting.

What you do is the following:

First you contrive your life in such a way as to end up in an Old People’s Home full of nice, but culturally innocent, inmates.

Then you take a sheet specially treated A4-size gummed paper and with a pencil in your right hand (because you’re experiencing slight tremors/twitches/tremblings/spasms/shakes etc.on the right side of your body because your tumor was on the left side of your brain) and sketch vague lines and shapes in the hope that eventually they get to resemble something or other (anything will do) so that you can later impute an intention or purpose.

Next, with your paint-brush in your right hand, you apply various coloured tinctures, water colours (acrilics only to be deployed in an emergency) onto the prepared surface to see how it turns out and with any luck you’ll produce a painting.

Repeat this periodically over several months and then, and this is the tricky part, get someone to group them together and display them on a large stand in the entrance hall.

Et voilá, there you have it – invisible paintings (painted by The Incredible Shrinking Man).

ANOTHER INVISIBLE EXHIBITION - by THOMAS MILNER

Please allow me to introduce myself

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste … thus the opening words of a famous song from my youth – Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones.

Not particularly wealthy and of uncertain taste, I am an Englishman in late middle-age who, over the last eight years, has endured three brain operations to remove benign but aggressive brain tumours. For reasons, which will in time become clear, I have somehow managed to end up in an Old People’s Home in the north of Portugal overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

I didn’t survive unscathed however; after the second procedure (six years ago) I was left with what the surgeons rather euphemistically described as a slight deficit in my right side.

I couldn’t even sign my own name! Part of my rehabilitation therapy was to draw and paint for about an hour each day.

I also had lapses of memory and after a long while in a very dark place I pulled myself together – It’s sauve qui peut in this place (pardon my French), I thought – and began to tap out with one finger my memories in order to fix them in my mind.

So here, in this slightly strange and surreal place, I produced and (self)published my book THE WAITING ROOM.

What therapy! What catharsis! I can’t recommend it enough for fellow victims – your memories will lead you into rich meadows in which you may graze at will …

COURAGE

(Pardon my French)

S.JORGE - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

I win a prize

Some of you may recall my post of 8th October entitled Rehabilitation through Art where I describe how, for the third year in succession, I was going to send an entry to the art competition (of the same name) down at Albufeira in the Algarve. I was wondering which p-p-p-picture to select and finally p-p-p-plumped for this p-p-p-painting.

WHERE AM I - PAINTING by THOMAS MILNER

And guess what … it came in first place (in the painting category).

Not a bad result, eh?

I’m rather chuffed.

More Painting Therapy

Oh, these warm July afternoons! I decide to fill in the time between lunch and tea by starting a new painting. Accordingly I wheel myself up to the first floor to my painting room, take up a fresh sheet of gummed A3 paper and sit in front of it for about five minutes, my mind as blank as the paper in front of me … I pull myself together and sweep a confident pencil stroke diagonally the paper and then another and a shorter one and then I’m off.

STAGE 1

The next afternoon I enter the uncomfortable world of colour. The picture is indicating organic growth of some sort (there are no straight lines; I have denied myself the comfort of my trusty ruler).

STAGE 2

Next day I’m two minds about whether to carry on with it or abandon the wretched thing but, being irredeemably lazy, I settle for the former in the hope that my retrieval skills can rescue it.

STAGE 3

The final afternoon sees me doing some major tinkering, touching up, colour adjustment and generally fiddling about with it. At ten minutes to four I stop, spray it with a cheap and rather nasty-smelling hair fixative and call it a day.

BULB TO FLOWER - PAINTING BY THOMAS MILNER

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