Friday, 23 January 2009

Ballooning over Benijofar

I was driving along the motorway from Quesada to Elche at the weekend thinking about my upcoming exhibitions in Dublin and Cyprus, and new surrealistic imagery that I was including in my latest pictures. When I have a new exhibition I always like to try to come up with new ideas that will capture the imagination of my collectors and hopefully, if they like them, maybe buy enough to allow me to purchase my return flight to the Costa. Nah, only kidding. I don’t believe in the starving artist in the damp garret thing. Return flights are already booked and I was promised by the breathless airline operator - I had his arm twisted up his back at the time - that the jet engines were already warming up to make sure my return flight would get me back to the sun as fast as humanly possible so my suntan wouldn’t fade in the dull light of the ‘northern territories‘. After I had released him from my vice like grip, he was kind enough to call two nice security guards to escort me from the building in case I got lost, but that’s another story…..

Anyway, I have been including my version of hot air balloons into some of my latest works as something a little different and a little bit obscure to attract attention and to stop me from getting too tied down to the commercial aspect of my job. Got to keep the interest up, for myself and my collectors, or we all start to get a little bored. Long legged elephants and melting watches are all very well but I seem to remember somewhere that they have been done before.

Strange, that as I was driving I noticed the exact thing I was thinking about floating about 200 feet above a field to my right. No, not an elephant, pink or otherwise - a hot air balloon. There is always something magical about watching the gentle wanderings of a hot air balloon. It looks so peaceful and relaxing. The cool light morning air wafting it along a completely controlled charted course free from light aircraft, power lines and mad attacking ‘Hitchcock’ birds. Don’t be fooled! With my head for heights I would be having the screaming ab-dabs up there, let me tell you! I have seen the television programmes where they get wrapped up in electricity sub stations, hit the sides of tall buildings and burst into flames as the gas bottles ignite, probably from the fumes of the bottle of whiskey I would have to drink just to go up in one of those things. My apologies to any aficionados of the sport - I’m sure it really is exhilarating (death defying more like. I mean, I can appreciate the talents of the late Evel Kneivel but there isn’t a hope in h**l that I would ever get on the back of a motorbike with him!). Please don’t write in offering to give me a course of gentle shock therapy by taking me up a few feet just to get the feel of it. I DON’T EVER WANT TO TRY IT, OKAY? Not if you don’t want to see projectile vomiting - or worse - on a grand scale! It’s bad enough getting me on a plane. No, I think I will just content myself with looking and painting them from the ground.

By the way, just in case you were in Benijofar at the weekend and were wondering why you didn’t see the balloon floating past - It was actually nearer Almoradi, but that just didn’t alliterate properly for the title. Benijofar was the closest place I could think of - sorry.
TJ Miles

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