Sunday, May 25, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
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 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.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
24 hours later we were in Whistler, our chosen destination after long, painstaking, careful research and thought. After sitting down at a lovely restaurant, also chosen after careful research and much discussion, we were about to order a bottle of wine. Tiina wanted to ask more about a certain wine but I said, “STOP, don’t ask, let THAT be our spontaneous moment, just...order it” So from our initial intention of acting out Easy Rider (in a minivan), our risk taking amounted to refraining ourselves from gathering more information about our beverage. That’s when I really got it... I am NOT 20 anymore.
In the spirit of Pangea day, three powerful words that I'm determined to keep with me - understanding, forgiveness, peace.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
My imagined near crow death experience led me to research all about crows (because that's the kind of nerd I am). I'm fascinated with them. In my effort to cut down my driving, (see this post) I've tried to find ways to appreciate wandering around suburbia on foot. Going on a few 'suburban safari's' was the answer for me and crows happen to be the most fascinating creatures in my little pocket of the world. They are adaptable, clever in getting their way, social and into garbage, in other words... like us.
That same nerdy part of me can't resist mentioning this little gem. According to ornithologist and crow expert Kevin J. McGowan, "Crows do have one endearing characteristic that is apparently not shared by other birds. They will get to know people as individuals. While you can get chickadees to eat out of your hand, any old hand will do, and I suspect that the chickadees do not know you as an individual. Crows will! If you toss them peanuts (I recommend unsalted, in the shell) on a regular basis, they will wait and watch for you. Not just any person, but you. If you do this often enough, they will follow you down the street to get more. I have made a point of getting on the good side of a number of crow families around Ithaca. Some will follow my car down the street, and if I don't notice them and toss them peanuts they will dash across the windshield to let me know they are there. Some of these crows recognize me far from their home territories, way out of context."
After hearing this little tidbit, my 8 yr old daughter really wants to make herself some crow friends. But first I'll have to go get some HEALTHY peanuts.
I'm off to Salt Spring Island later this week. Maybe I'll run into this famous wildlife artist who lives there. In my rebellious youth, I used to think his art was too commercial and I was too cool to stomach it, but I've softened a lot. And I would love to own this painting of his, I think it's stunning.
Since I titled my painting, "Watcher of Little Boxes", I'll leave with Pete Seeger singing Malvina Reynolds song, "Little Boxes". It's all about suburbia.