Watching Paint Dry

Warhammer 40k diorama designed and painted by Pascal Bollon

A handful of English expressions have always had the ability to start my imagination. Many such expressions exist of course in French, as rich, as evocative. Yet, as I slot the precisely relevant expression at the exact correct point, it kicks off for me more than an hyperbole, saying or image. It summons pictures, landscapes, historical turns, even beyond amusement. The master juggler has always been for me Terry Pratchett, of the Discworld fame. Among these, watching paint dry reigns supreme. It can be a hobby, a calling, a mission.

As a hobby, painting Warhammer is often the essence of my weekends. With the sharp eye focus of a zen sensei, I can spend hours waiting for glazes, shades, varnishes. For a couple of hours, time is suspended, my mind goes into artistic representations, limited only by execution imperatives. 

It is a calling. Did you know that there is a worldwide championship of watching paint dry? You have movies and YouTube. Yes, however much it could be tongue in cheek, there is an entire world that watches paint out there. 

After all, it is a science since centuries, since 1869 to be precise. Speed, quality, texture, effects do impact our daily life. More than that, the quality, layering and different impact of weather of paint gave us such extraordinary techniques as Al Fresco. Paint on wet plaster, until it dries and fixes the paint. How apposite to an expression that was born on stage, in the Shrike?

So, to me, watching paint dry is a serious endeavour. A Zen state of mind. Well, at least, it is better than watching grass grow. 😄

Happy Summer Holidays

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