God getting out of bed is annoying! Especially when the thought of work broods on your mind, and the duvet is warm, and oblivion is so easy - and really last night wasn't proper sleep anyway, so surely you're due an extra hour, or two? Then, with willpower, the like of which those who laboured daily to put in place the giant blocks atop the pyramids could not muster, you're up.
The floor is cold, the socks have fallen down the back of the radiator, you forgot to iron a shirt, the cat is meowing - over something you can't quite make out, and the day has begun. Great! This was not why you were born, this is not the reason behind the miracle of existence, this is definitely a Monday.
You find the world coming into focus, the slow release of breakfast energy seeping through your body, blinking a morse code of awareness to your brain. Sketching first thing is good, your hand is given the freedom to roam looser than with the paint brush. Ideas are suggested, then corrected and finally decided. As these are the opening marks you have permission to make mistakes - to negotiate your ideas, until you strike a bargain with the outline, and turn to the paint.
Still groggy I like to block in colours here, establishing the outline in negative, and leaving the nooks and crannies until my concentration is alert enough to tame the horse hair of the brush. This is inevitably several steps backwards, as before you are able to realise the depth, shade and colour of the painting, you will necessarily obscure it.
Finally, having achieved a zen-ninja state of control, you pick up the brush - knowing what you want from it: unconsciously you mix the paint, judging consistency by instinct, shaping the tip with quick dips and flicks, and add the fine details, nuances of colour, temperatures of tone and suggestions of movement. This is when the painting comes alive, or else exposes the folly of your path. Fortunately I see my mind's image forming on the page and take the confidence to embolden my brush strokes, relaxing my hand to fluidly elaborate and elevate the image.
Now I am awake, now I am alive, now I have to go to work!