Why art matters... especially nowadays.

Today is harder. It started with a little nudge in the belly. That invisible touch from inside that darkens and tightens. A worry...

Us humans we battle each day trying to stay happy. But when reality happens it can take the ease from us and present more anxious path… That sound that suddenly wakes us up, favourite gift that stayed in our home for years and now it is shattered, a friend who gets sick, sudden loss of job or anything that we always took for granted. Life happens and challenges us constantly and for a moment we oblige to its demands and feel defeat. Fear creeps in. Worry about anything that happened, anything that might happen and even things that will most probably never happen...

Then suddenly we catch a glimpse of the picture we got years ago in that little quirky shop at the sea resort. That summer we fell in love again. The day we crossed into new realms when we pushed the door to that dusty gallery. It unlocked and let us in with a gasp of air trapped between years. Mixed with smell of paint and with the sound of people from the past. Each one smelled like mothballs and dried flowers sprinkled with dust. Colours still vibrant but muted under the vail of memories. There is a crackling sound of the skipping vinyl somewhere at the back of the place. Just loud enough to notice the piano music. I recognised it. Somewhere in my mind I started to guess where I had heard it first. And in that flash between moments I remember my Friend. He used to close his eyes and chatter. I always thought he was just mumbling. But no. He was memorising alphabet letters trying to remember names. I smile. I am not able to use that technique as my brain never worked with alphabetical riddle well. A B C d e....crack, crack, crack. I closed my eyes but as letters don't work for me I touch emotions. Trying to connect the sound to the first memory. I smile again. I remember another friend. One day she sent me that tune. I was painting…

That day I picked up the brushes that had belonged to my grandfather. He would use them to explore colours and seek connection to canvas. He was so proud when he had showed me his green landscape. I remember I was a little boy then and I felt so much. I was proud of him. And I couldn't believe his hands created that. And I wanted to paint ever since... Then my grandmother shouted the dinner was ready and asked us to put our stuff away... oh the hunger. I ate dumplings with her cottage cheese filling with taste bigger than ever. Delicate with little speckles of black pepper for added spice, soft, creamy and delicious...

And now that music. I smiled and painted. Brush gliding easier than ever, corners of my mouth raised with tongue between my teeth. I recognised that memory and swallowed saliva. Oh that hunger. I cooked those dumplings that day. Just like my grandmother with so much love and passion. I did it my way yet I could sense her essence between the pastry and filling. Warm and comforting.

But that music still played. Even when I completed my painting that day it was there. Soft and dreamy. Confident piano chords. Classical yet so modern. The pace, the flow. Emotions…

And then we saw the picture. In a little corner. Between the display cabinet and window. Between woods of various crafts there was that old gold frame. Aged and tarnished you could smell it even before you picked it. Smell of stories embedded within patina. One of the corners had a little dent. I wonder what was the tale that imperfection contained. It added new layer to the mood. It was a painting of a girl. Shyly looking up from behind her shoulder. So much innocence yet the confidence within eyes was mesmerising. Soft gold flecks within paper lifted the darkness of the illustration lines. We touched it and knew it was ours.

The music finished with a soft crack. The vinyl must have had a little dent forming unique tone.

I still can hear it even now. And as I touch the glass of the picture I can almost taste fried onions from the dumplings topping.

So smooth…

If you enjoyed it please share with your Friends. Hugs. W

Wojtek London Art
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