Saturday, December 26, 2009

I'm going to have to get myself a nice little stepladder.

I've pretty much painted on all the walls in the house, some rooms more than others and some walls in greater detail, and some portions of some walls in layers of brushstrokes and colors.

For the most part I just transfer paint to the wall with the brush, using whatever sorts of strokes appeal to me in that moment, and usually without stopping much except to reload the brush. My brushes get ground down, because I work the paint into the texture of the wall, and fuss with it as it dries, and then scrub it off sometimes, either by painting over it and making a layer lift up or using the brush like a scraper.

And then things that look sort of like landscapes show up on the wall. I'm surprised, but not really, I mean I don't find it odd that my mind, left to its own devices would paint things that look like the world outside the house. I'm always staring off at the trees or the clouds or the birds strung on the lines waiting for someone to be brave enough to be the first one to swoop down for the breadcrumbs scattered on the still-frosted lawn.

One wall, though, I painted with more deliberate effort to create a scene. It's causing me the most trouble, because I keep wanting to abandon it, paint it all white and start over, and paint the way I usually do, like dreaming rather than telling a sensible story. But now that I've made the trees on that wall I feel responsible to them somehow, and so I keep fussing with them, and they're beginning to look more like trees, or at least more like the kind of trees you'd see as the backdrop in a puppet show, a retelling of some old fable.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pardon the swooping camerawork. It was my left hand's doing.

“These are days when no one should rely unduly on his competence. Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.”

Walter Benjamin

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Well I didn't meet my first, second, or third deadlines.

But. I did manage to finish the things I was working on - or if not finish (what's ever finished?) at least get them to point where I could pack them up and ship them off. It didn't cost as much as I thought, and the box was bigger than I'd realized, and I have no idea what sort of reception it's going to get when it gets to where it's going. (A puzzled one, is my guess.) Next time will be easier.

It occurs to me that this is the first time I've sent work off to stand on its own without me there to fuss with it. I expect that was some of the difficulty.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I really have trouble shutting out distractions.

Not all the time, mind you. Sometimes I can be so focused on something that I can't quite bring myself to believe life itself doesn't stop for the moments that the paint stops being paint and just becomes color, and then beyond color, just thick slickness and the brush not making strokes but only pushing or pulling the color, and making waves in the wet yellow or red or whatever it is. Red and black lately, and then both, to make a deep, satisfying brown. And then I get lost doing that, and forget everything else, and then the world comes back and the connection to something other than everyday life gets thinner and is finally pulled apart altogether. Or not, I suppose, the connection goes on in the background. But love and laundry and sandwiches intrude sometimes, and yes, intrude sounds so harsh, and I don't mean it be harsh. It's just that sometimes I wish I could only please myself. But I come back to my senses after a while. It's the same connection, just expressed another way, and whether it's paint or lunch, if it's done with care and dedication I suppose it's all pretty much the same thing.

Friday, December 4, 2009

So I have this deadline tomorrow.

And I suppose I should be running around in a panicked sort of way, but I'm not. I'm not sure if this is progress or self-delusion and denial, but I've considered and rejected several plans as far as this deadline goes, and then they all were swept aside by a new plan tonight, and so now I'm thinking, well I don't have to mail this until tomorrow by the time the post office closes. If I get up in the morning, put on my fancy new overalls, knock some of the dirt off my sensible shoes and wear those sort of fishscale blue-green dangly earrings, and go to town, I can busy some good-sized sheets of fat luscious white paper and some sharpies and draw the whole thing, fold it up in intricate and eccentric ways, and put it in a box, bind that box with wire and tighten the wire with little bamboo pegs and be satisfied. And satisfy the commitment. So there's no sense running around trying to do a million things and worrying none will be good enough.

In any case, it's almost midnight and I've still got things to clean up because some of my works of art are in the way of tomorrow's breakfast. I'm hoping it's pancakes and sausages. I just wish we hadn't eaten all the strawberries. If it's me cooking we'll probably just have oatmeal, or scrambled eggs. But my husband likes to fuss over breakfasts, and we all enjoy that.

I tend to fret too much about things, and that makes me cranky. I'm making progress, but it's slow going, I must say. And then add the whole artistic temperament and a family history of eccentricities and so on and honestly. I think I'm doing quite well, all things considered.