It is the work you do not see,
the hours no one counts,
grunt work, but essential
to the magic.
About this poem
I once had someone ask me how much time I put into a painting, as if they wanted to pay me by the hour. I just laughed and told them the truth – I have no idea.
But I do know this – everything I have ever done in life was backed up by a lot of invisible grunt work. Today for instance, I spent a couple of hours in the studio. I painted some new layers on a new painting, reclaimed some canvases with Gesso, and cleared off burlap from what will be the frame for a largish (3′ x 10′) painting. Next trip there I’ll stretch the canvas. And on the next couple of trips I’ll prepare the canvas for painting. All before I splash the first bit of color on it.
From painting to poetry to music to whatever is worth doing, Grunt work. It’s what makes the magic possible.