How to Watch Paint Dry ( and why you should )

Here we shall explore How To Watch Paint Dry and also Why It’s a Good Thing.

Yes, it is. It is a good thing and in this article I shall explore in depth the concept behind the corner that you and I just painted ourselves into.

What do I mean by that? Many things, some mean and some not so mean. By mean, I mean, “low in status”, “of little consequence”. I may also mean an average, which is computed by adding up all the values in a frequency distribution and dividing the sum by the total number of such values. The ones we just added up. How many did we add up? I don’t know. You tell me. How many did you have when you started? How many are left over? The correct answer to the last question is “none”.

Digression Alert: None. What a word. This is a word that spells something. Something important this way comes, it says. It smells of trouble, of grandeur, of a deep and solemn voice. You don’t believe me? Try saying this next sentence out loud.

“None shall pass.”

Did you notice how your voice deepened and how you slowed your speech and articulated it. None. No One. Not a single person. Nary a one. It’s pretty definitive. It’s pretty powerful. When you replace it with “No one”, you lose about 98.456243% of the power of “None”.

What is Paint?

I turned to the interweb for a definition and found this at the end of an interminably long search of about 3.45263 seconds.

Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, converts to a solid film. It is most commonly used to protect, color, or provide texture to objects.

So there you have it. It’s a thing you daub a surface with. You use it to protect, accentuate, decorate by means of a protective film (protect) and accentuate and decorate by means of colour, color, if American.

Actually, one of the major uses of paint, indeed the verb “to paint”, usually means, to produce art. Some of the names in the following list may be known to you. Matisse, Rembrandt, Titian, Picasso, Dali, Monet and Manet, Van Gogh are all “painters”. They used paint to tell a story or depict an emotion, a feeling.

My guess is they spent a bit of their lives watching paint dry.

Paint and its uses

Go back to the previous section and review the last line, no the line before the last line.

Think about the motivation those guys had for what they produced. Why do you believe they used paint to depict the images they saw in their head? The starry, starry nights, the liquid clock, the flowers by the stream, those picnicing ladies carefully displaying acres of naked flesh are all thoughts and images important enough in the artist’s head to be brought to life for the viewing pleasure of centuries of gawkers in museums around the world. (And, I daresay, private collections costing millions of dollars).

Of course, paint has the other function as well. To protect. Go check out the Golden Gate Bridge. What’s the (almost) first thing you notice? The size of it, quickly followed by the red colour against the landscape and the bay that frames it. See? It’s like a painting. Here the red protects the bridge from the weather. It also accentuates.

Then of course you have walls, cars, signboards. All of those colours accentuate, protect.

In my opinion, those ubiquitous silver painted bridges should all be painted diverse colours in keeping with their setting. It would make the world a better place.

For colour evokes an emotion. And the human race is an emotional race. Very few are driven by rational thought, where the head rules the heart. The overwhelming majority of people have emotional responses to cute cats and puppies, kids, that new smart phone that we must have because it has that colour or those ear pieces that look like white puss oozing from our ears. (Digression Alert: I mean really! Apple has lost its way. I used to be a committed and die-hard Apple fanboy. But, sadly, not any more.)

This is why marketing chaps talk about emotional responses and not features. Techie people (me included) wax lyrical about the cute features we designed. But products are not sold by feature sets. Products are sold by the emotional response we can generate in our customers and clients.

And paint helps.

How To Watch Paint Dry

If you’ve ever painted anything, you will know that the painting process is an involved one. The selection of paint brush, type of, rollers and mixers is beyond the scope of this little, hopefully, thought provoking, piece.

First, there is the primer, the pre-paint chemical. Then you take up the paint and apply a first coat of that protective and decorative film. Then you down tools and wait till it dries. You may have to repeat this last step at least one more time.

The actual process of Watching Pain Dry, is at once simple and complex.

The simple thing is, every time you put on a coat of film you have to sit back and wait.

You can sit on an upturned bucket, smoke a meditative cigarette, or other substance. You could partake of some liquid refreshment. You could lounge on the couch and write, doodle, and really do anything else. You could partake of witty banter on Facebook or indulge in heated “debate” on Twitter, while the coat dries.

Why You Should Watch Paint Dry

And this is the first lesson. Painting provides ample opportunity to be socially gregarious on social media. Which is a redundancy that I’m too lazy to explain. (I reserve the write to right – or vice versa – an article on this redundancy, it being a vast topic.) 

Once you’ve done that and your heart rate has reached healthily elevated levels, you realize that you need something to calm yourself down. This is in the best tradition of work outs. I do believe it’s called interval training, where you raise and lower your heart rate at intervals.

You can then do things such as order in food, and elevate your cholesterol and sugar levels. Which really isn’t a good thing. So we can take that thing off the list of reasons Why You Should.

By now you’ve realize that the “paint” I’m referrring to is a metaphor for the thing we call life and its slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune and this brings us to the complex part.

I’m inclined to think that the reasons why you should watch the (metaphoric) paint dry is to take some time off the treadmill that is life and reflect.

Sit back, close your eyes and think. Who are you? What do you want? Who do you love? Who loves you? What can you do to make yourself happy? What can you do to make the ones who love you happy? <Add your questions here>

I would suggest that money isn’t the answer, because all the richest people seem to be so far gone that nothing makes them happy anymore. Mansion? Yep. Fancy car? Got ’em. Trip to the edge of space? Been there, done that. So what makes them happy? Another billion dollars at the expense of impoverishing another million people?

I personally think they must be very unhappy people, driven by nothing more in life than another million. They’ve gone down that road and there’s no turning back.

Mind you, I wouldn’t mind a million or two myself. It can help with the reflection and the security it can provide in terms of food, shelter and clothing. But how much is enough? And at what point do you stop being greedy?

Nah, I think you’re better off doing some reflection. Add those questions to the list to reflect on.

Go do it now.

I’ll wait.

Come back and tell me how it went.


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Shiva Kumar

    You have painted a beautiful picture, with lots of colours and smiles. And all those reflections.
    And, oh! You left out nails.