Charcoal and Chalk

89 × 68 cm

not shown it anywhere as yet, still unframed and unsold.

dumb really.


I used architecture a great deal in the earlier parts of my career (not actually very long ago now). I invented this piece – I was trying to get across some of the desolation I felt. I have since largely abandoned using structures in my works as central features, I find that nothing in my experience works as effectively as the human figure itself we say so much, so very much with the slightest curve of a pale finger. Still. Ruins are cool. You should see my lungs :-)Fear rant… yeh…

When what happens is this:
A moment, an image. A shock of realisation – if that is what it is.
I lift a drink to my lips and there is a red stain on the glass – a viscous, crimson liquid. My pupils widen in shock and I drop the cheap tumbler from my fingers, spilling fluid down the front of my shirt and I think – I know -
For this, this is not sane this is a moment of insanity this is not real. This is so far from real that I am lost.
Can we – does it work in this way in this manner, are we aware? Is knowledge, awareness, a proof of sanity in itself? Is this absolute saturated fear a concrete ridge of rationale? Is it the pace the meter the rhythm of madness?
Can the insane know that they are insane?
OK, ok, yes. Yes.
One from another a step into the fucking light and find a handhold though it is sharp and rusted and tears the hand that grips it – and with creaking bones wrapped in thin flesh lever and pull until once more we are convinced… that this world that we see; that this light that spills over these keys from this screen is the wholeness and purity of the world.
The panic is an illusion a confabulation and is the evidence of wild instability in its very focus and sharp bite. The fear itself is the only answer. It is the depth of it the breadth of its reach in our hearts and fingers that we must, we must control and hold.
That the dark stain existed: that it can be seen by rolling eyes other than mine flashing white and weird in the night: this is not the question that tears.
It is the blind panic itself. Its own monster. Cruel and huge grinning up at me.

What happens to us when we snap into focus and listen to the singing blood in our ears. When we know that for this moment despite anything else any appetite or false glow of reason any tight wires across our skins or brilliant lights drawn across our minds – that we can see in our bloody heads and straining fists that for this time this great time this whole moment this exactitude of clocks and paucity of stuttered beats that this is insane?
The thought itself tart and violent in our throats and hands. Defiled and filthy with awareness and self generation but
Because there is no lie greater and more true than one whispered to ourselves in the night – peeled back in the pain of fear in sweat and tremor in stretching BONE. In the deep moaning terror of silence. It is our own selves creeping behind us, in the shadows, the shadows, the empty stairs of our minds.
This is the horror the truth about black claws that drip and rip.
Of laughter misplaced, hollow. Shuddering and inexplicable.
It has never mattered; more than the soft flesh at our temples, beneath our wild, wild eyes, our wounds sure and sore rough beneath our fluttering eyelids. More than the depth of the shadows in the corners of our cold rooms. It is the cold
That we must fear.
The sharpness of sudden breath, of smoke that is STILL.
The turn of a jaw the clench of old teeth, feet pressed together bones indeed that TWIST that were never meant to twist whose arc was defined and pure something, yes,
Some part ancient and chill in the deep shadows.
Utterly cognizant inflexibly real frozen in awareness crisp with line and light. That there are bodies hung from hooks somewhere in the skeins and flares and redness; torque and wire-tight flesh lies masques. That there are within us inside us each, monsters and horror. It is that these things that they are that they have us in their dry white grip (our own).
This is the truth.
Our perceptions matter not, never as deeply as our fear. Tease the fear from the hungry wetness of our heads pull it like an old suture from an infected wound; hot to the touch burning and sick.
It is this untamed cut and flare of pain. A bleeding eye that chatters its etiolated bleaching freedom and dawns starring our vision. Fired with life. This IS us, it defines us we are made from fear a mangled hideous groping. The spark in absolute darkness –
It is our genius.
It turns us flesh bone thought and gall into the depth and dismay of the real. The stain spreads impossibly around me, clutching at my skin.
I am out of my mind. I know secret things. I am more alive.

I have been writing my novel, which is so exciting i made my cat throw up last chapter I finished. Um… I spun her around saying “YAY!” too much. so i haven’t been painting anywhere near as much as i like to. (I’ve also been realllllllly sick. oh well.) Apart from painting I have a side-line in cat straightening – an uncommon skill that i learned in a dzong in Bhutan.

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  • Deidre Cripwell
    Deidre Cripwellalmost 7 years ago

    WOW this reminds me of Tolken’s Lord of the Rings.

  • Susie Mac
    Susie Macalmost 7 years ago

    Absolutely Awesome… love it. Amazing thought provoking writing… The last sentences … i have seen that monster…. susie :)

    REDREAMERalmost 7 years ago

    Fear is the mind killer…… theres something about the antiquity and persistence of ruins that belies the hands and minds theat built and wrought and loved and lived in them…….speaking metaphorically of course. :) You do lonely well. But i see a light behind and theres always the next creation.

  • Mohamad Amin Khaxar
    Mohamad Amin K...almost 7 years ago

    Great sho tmate! Everything about it ,it`s just so beautyfly defined. Great work

  • Artaslife
    Artaslifeover 6 years ago

    Great contrast and edges! Your writing is as terrific as your visual work.

  • Shanina Conway
    Shanina Conwayover 6 years ago

    Fantastic work Paul…love the ruins with the light peering through ;)

  • Suzanne German
    Suzanne Germanover 6 years ago

    Paul I love the painting – hauntingly surreal and yet, yes, so real !!!
    From what you write it sounds like you are gripping the eye of your storm and in control – fantastic for you – so good to read these words. take care suzanne .

  • Lila Alias
    Lila Aliasover 6 years ago

    I LOVE THIS!!! The softness, the tone… the atmosphere…. fantastic stuff!

  • pauldrobertson
    pauldrobertsonover 6 years ago

    thank you everyone this co9mmentary means more than i can convey… thank you thank you…

  • dimarie
    dimarieover 6 years ago

    I love this! :)

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