On Reading a Painting in 5 minutes – unedited
I wrote this text as an exercise on first impression looking at the photo-card of a painting I have been given to chose among 10 other cards. The only info known to me was the title at the back of the card, ‘Melanie and Me Swimming’ by Michael Andrews, from Tate.
After looking carefully at the painting, imagine or even write your one text.
Then you may read my text. Do not rush to find out what it really depicts or the painter’s biographical note, until you finish. It is a creative game you can play with friends and family. Or with just yourself.
This is what I have written, unedited and uncensored, looking at the painting on the card:
It is bloody cold – what an idea to swim tonight! He was so enthusiastic I could not spoil it. Peter is like that. His mind is full of images, or shall I say moving pictures, films. And he prepares the setting, oh the setting is so important! Like tonight. For a moment I forgot, I was carried away.
We had our drinks on the terrace above the rocks. The moon came out late, a full moon; that’s why we had our drinks on the terrace in the first place. Because of the full moon.
Peter suggested after the second glass of white wine, “Shall we walk to the rocks Melanie?”
I had been pretty comfortable in my armchair looking at the sea, the water glimmering at my feet. A slight breeze was cooling me off from the morning sunbathing – my skin was shivering a bit, the breeze felt cool. Oh, I should have thought the water would be cold.
I could not walk down the rocks on my high heels.
“Let me help you Melanie,” he said, Peter and his voice is so warm and melodic I could not resist.
“Yes,” I have agreed to let my long dress fall off and I have agreed to follow him in the water. Then I realised it was deep, and I panicked.
“Don’t worry Melanie, I am here”. Next, he was standing on a rock with his hands extended towards me helping me to float while staying aloof, instructing me how to swim in his steady voice.
I started laughing. It was so ridiculous.