Iím not sure where this painting came from but Iíd been listening to Nina Simoneís Greatest Hits and the Don't Smoke In Bed song must have lodged in my brain.
This painting is something I can relate to. I read every night myself until I fall asleep. My face falls into the book or the arm my head is propped up on goes numb with lack of blood. On days that arenít so good reading in bed can often be the best part of the day (besides eating.) Iíve usually three books on the go at a time and pick up which I need most: fact, fiction or ones just full of pictures (no not those pictures - they're wedged under my mattress.) So this painting on a small canvas is of a woman reading under a lamp.
You enter another world when you read a book, are communing with the writers mind. I can never understand people who never read. I prefer fiction books read to me when Iím out walking. I don't scare easily but can I remember walking on the hills in darkness while listening to Dennis Wheatleyís "The Haunting Of Toby Jugg". My nerves were jangling a bit. It was so dark I could barely see the dirt path in front of me. Suddenly grey blurs rushed across the blackness before me, one rubbing against my legs; I let out a bit of a shriek. It was a flock of scurrying sheep but it took a few seconds to register in my mind.
Once I was so engrossed in an audio book while walking across golf course at dusk that I fell into a bunker. Once a man came running out of his farm house shouting at me. I was so involved with the story I didnít know he was there until one of his sheep dogs nudged me in the leg (the farmer was livid and thought Iíd been ignoring him.)
Every night I used to go in my folks bedroom to goodnight to my mum (who usually retired to bed first.) I canít remember a time when she wasnít reading a novel. I only have to see a book by Danielle Steel or Mills & Boon or Denise Robbins to think of her. I never saw her reading a factual book - ever.
This painting didnít take long. I wasnít sure if I should paint a bra on the woman - most donít wear them in bed according to an article I read. I wouldnít know: women are a bit like aliens to me; I only really know them through television and pictures and not through real life (don't men have male friends and woman have female friends and opposite genders only mix in groups?)
I remember a woman being embarrassed when her partner said didnít wear a bra in bed because ďthose puppies won't grow if they're always caged.Ē She was livid and looked compelled to slap his face. Everyone slyly glanced at her chest but I had seen bigger lumps in my mashed potatoes.
As Nina Simone's Don't Smoke In Bed probably inspired this painting I painted in a cigarette.