The local croquet courts are a collection of horizontal planes low to the ground. Very little is vertical except the players, the hoops and a small green shed. In the current drought the short, dry grass looks and smells like tatami matting. The pace is meditative, the ethos courteous, the movements stylised.
To borrow a thought from Okakura Kakuzo: as with the art of life, the art of croquet lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.
A wise friend takes the view it’s often the glass of water, rather than the aspirin, that cures a headache. I recently found that painting an Advil in the afternoon sun can work better than swallowing it.
Those paying attention may recall my plea for more paintings of car parks. I have put my brush where my mouth is and here is the result. In an engineering feat to rival the Great Pyramid of Giza, a nearby school removed its football field, carved a car park into the earth, and then put the football field back on on top of the car park. So far as I know, neither slaves nor extraterrestrials were involved in the work – though Erich von Daniken may prove otherwise. The entrance to the finished car park has a pleasing low-lying symmetry and looks rather like the sleek slot of a cassette tape machine from the 1970s.
I have not read Henry Adams’s Mont Saint Michel and Chartres for many years, but I remember he told a story about the monks being tricked into supplying gemstones to be turned into coloured glass for the cathedral windows. However, it turns out you can turn gemstones into paint. I bought some paint made out of the gemstone malachite simply because I wanted to paint a malachite ring using malachite paint. Here it is:
I was walking down Flinders Lane when I was splashed from above with pool water. I looked up and saw this pool gleaming in the afternoon sun. The deep end is about ten storeys deep.
… wise words in both life and building construction.
Richard Russo explains that if you’re building something very tall you can’t afford to be ‘half a bubble out’, but if you’re building something shorter it’s probably going to be OK. It’s all about perspective.
Continuing my series of paintings of coloured liquids in glass vials, this is my spirit level …
Many years ago part of a much-loved art gallery was being demolished. In a pile of building rubble out the front I found a discarded fire sprinkler. It shone like a ruby in the powdery grey pile. It was not only superbly functional, it was beautiful. This is a quick sketch.