Sunday, May 18, 2008

Painting on Garbage and He Has a Medical Degree?!

I saved my garbage from my Whistler trip with the idea I would create some art from all those paper coffee cups and sandwich wrappers. I’ve done this sort of thing before and had garbage sitting around my studio for a long time. I realized I had gone a little crazy last year when I was reluctant to throw it away because I thought it was TOO valuable, as if garbage was hard to come by. Then I mentally slapped myself and tossed it.

This art work is painted on top of the garbage from my recent road trip (below post) and some junk mail left in my car. It's an image based on Nairn Falls, a place we visited while in Whistler. I still have to add some detail and contrast before it's finished.

I intended to have the painting finished for this post, but this weekend could be named, "The weekend I destroyed my flesh by various forms of heat". A day at the beach, stupidly forgetting to put on sunscreen, turned my wonder bread skin into a peeling mass of red, or for you arty types, 'alzarian crimson'.

Later, while working on this painting, I took a break to cook lunch and tipped over a boiling pot of water onto my hand. I still tried to finish this painting, keeping the burnt hand immersed in ice water and the other holding a paintbrush. Not that I'm usually so dedicated but I was on a roll and I didn't want to stop when I felt all this intense motivation. But as I stood at my easel, whimpering like an injured puppy, dreaming of getting morphine injections while I looked at the skin coming off my fingers like a glove, I realized I should go see a doctor.

Doctor: "When did you last have a tetanus shot"
Me: "About 8 years ago"
Doctor: "Did you wash the burn with soap and warm water?"
Me: "Ummm...yes?"(truth- no! my flesh is exposed and my skin is coming off! I'm not going to touch it, are you crazy?!)
Doctor: "Was the water that fell on you hot?"
Me: ???????
Me thinking: Thank you! thank you for that ridiculous question so I have something to write about on my blog this evening.

I'm quite alright though and here's my hand. I was thinking of doing an outdoor finger puppet show about 3 newborn babies.

Before I go, I'll leave with this art produced from garbage (and light) that is truly amazing, something I would have loved to see in a gallery.


Angela Rockett said...

Great painting so far! So sorry about all the burning though. Ouch. I hope you don't mind that your post made me laugh though. Really, I'm laughing WITH you, not at you. Assuming you're laughing of course.

(Was the water hot? OMG!)

Hope you get better quickly.

Ellen said...

Angela - yes, I'm laughing (and cringing), but get this - a few hours later we went out for dinner and drove past a shake and shingle mill that was on fire! flames and billowing smoke everywhere. But at the restaurant they way undercooked mostly everyone's steak which I thought was an ironic end to the day. Reality is stranger than fiction.

dinahmow said...

Once, when I was dental nursing, a dentist touched a raw nerve and the patient(a chap of some 15 stone!) flung up his arms, knocked instruments off the bracket and clopped me in the face."Sorry!" said my boss to the patient, "Did that hurt?"
At least you got to take a funny picture of your bandages!

Ellen said...

Dinah- that's hilarious! (although not for the patient I suppose). But I don't know if 15 stone is big or little! I'll have to look that up, (you're making me learn stuff!)

Melody said...

Yikes Ellen. I felt your pain just reading that...especially at the skin coming off part...yuck. Great painting though...oh how we suffer for our art. Be well

Ellen said...

Thanks Melody. Yes don't we though? I hope you haven't experienced any sewing machine injuries:)

Hayden said...

'I realized I had gone a little crazy last year when I was reluctant to throw it away because I thought it was TOO valuable, as if garbage was hard to come by. Then I mentally slapped myself and tossed it.'

ohhh, too rich. Made me get up and go throw away a huge sheet of oddly corregated cardboard I grabbed from my contractors garbage pile. He's learned to expect strange behavior so was only moderately puzzled when I explained "it has such an interesting texture."

the real joke is that I don't even DO art. I just nab things thinking that they look like they need to be used for an art project, and then shuffle them from place to place.

Delighted to be reading your blog, I like your writing.

Ellen said...

Hayden - thanks for visiting. Your comment made me laugh because the first reaction I had was 'ooooh, that cardboard sounds great, you threw that out? I want it!' I'm a reformed pack rat, some bad habits keep poking their nasty head up. But after discovering how freeing purging 'stuff' feels, don't think I can go back (she says hypocritically, while ignoring the large pile of paper beside her at the moment)