words and pictures


Oh God, those doubts are raising their ugly heads again, crawling up my back and tapping me on the shoulder, licking my ear with their forked tongues and whispering their sweet nothings in my shell like. Why? you ask. Well talking, thats all, plain, intuitive, everyday talking.

I was asked to do an interview the other day, no big drama, until I remembered how inarticulate I felt just talking. Mumbling and fumbling around for words that don’t come, scratching around for the right thing to say only to blurt out some irrelevant twadle. Its a nightmare. I find it difficult enough just to talk at the best of times.

Its so very odd because when I write the words just come, lyrically, poetically, they seem to just dance across the page. When I talk I feel like a five year old. It got me to thinking about how we communicate and as is my way it all became allegorical.

Its like tea.

Talking is like making a quick brew, tea bag in, water, milk, stir. That’s it. Writing is like a slow brew of loose leaf tea in a pot, waiting for it patiently, contemplating the lovely velvet warmth and reminiscing about your last cup. Painting is like brewing the tea in the pot, contemplating how lovely the pot looks in that chiaroscuro light, noticing the little crack or the chip on the rim of the cup. Wondering what the pot would look like with a different pattern, loving that stream of translucent sienna as you pour the liquid calm into the beautifully decorated porcelain cup.

interviewer, so Karl tell me about your paintings

me, well, er, um its sort of (as my mind thinks about a lovely cup of afternoon in Paris loose leaf tea)

interviewer, so how do you go about starting something new

me, well um, I um……

interviwer, you’re a waste of time,  interview over I’m going to Starbucks for a coffee.

how do you take your tea?


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