25 August, 2006

No pain, no gain

It's just as well that I've been writing about art recently, as my right big toe is currently itself a work of art. It took only a large glass pickle-jar, dropped from a metre off the ground, to cause a serious explosion of colour. At first a milky pearl-blue—roughly the shade that has survived from classical frescoes—spread out from the vanishing point under the nail; this has blossomed into fresh shades of Gothic azure and caerulean or Titian blue, applied with a subtle sfumato around the border. As the nail began to foreshorten and come loose from the flesh—itself enlivened with delicate touches of scarlet, recalling the jewel-tones of Tintoretto—it occasioned a patina of pustulent ecru or bone, the ghastly hue of a Fuseli, stippled with crimson lac, worthy of any pre-Raphaelite and daubed impasto. The whole grows increasingly abstract.

Conrad continues to suffer for his art, dear readers: it is a labour of love. It is sad to reflect that, like the dying sunset, such rich hues will soon run their course, restoring a plain pink canvas.

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