Thursday, November 21, 2013

Index Card Art, The Metamorphosis and A Night Off

Yesterday my wife volunteered her time to help paint a new wellness center that our good friend is spearheading.  I was granted the opportunity to an entire day in studio, but alas when I was left alone in studio I was not very capable of working.  My energy wasn't there.  I didn't really care what I was making.  Sometimes this happens.  Usually this happens when I have been waiting for days to have a good long studio day and haven't been granted one.  This was the case yesterday, I think.  At about four in the afternoon I gave up and traveled out to my old, pre-wife haunts.  I visited my friend Mattie and my friend Shirah.  I talked about teaching and my frustrations therein.  I talked about art making and its traps and I talked about how my students never show up to class on time.

Shirah is an amazing painter.  It is lovely to take time off to speak with her.  She has a habit of setting my head straight.  It proved to be no different this time.  I woke up today refreshed and ready to get some work done, at ease with the wife being gone all day in place of my former reluctance, and curious as to what I was going to make.  I am now wondering if maybe being curious as to what to make is better than being certain of what you are making.  Today I made some small pieces of jewelry and traveled to the craft store to pick up more supplies for necklace making.  I then set to making a number of small drawings on index cards.  My artist assistant was busy making backers for each of these.  You can read about that at my Tumblr blog which she manages.

It donned on me that the index card paintings would look a lot better as acrylic paintings than as watercolors.  I determined that I would leave the background as index card and the foreground would be painted opaquely.  I was very pleased with the results.

The other day I had made a single watercolor which I was trying to recreate.  The recreation did not go so well.  I think that may have been the root of some of my problem yesterday.  I had to abandon that method as the expectations were too high and it was influencing the quality of my piece.  Here is that original piece, however.

It was good to abandon that drawing for a little while.  Painting opaquely requires a different type of focus; one that alleviates my stresses and makes me more in touch with my anxieties.  I become a better person, essentially when I paint opaquely.  I think that perhaps this is what people mean by having a calling.  It made me think back to the weekend.

This past weekend I read the Metamorphosis.  Since about Monday I have been questioning why Gregor ever needed to turn into a bug in order to create the resolution to the story.  Why wasn't he just sick or completely immersed in his work or why didn't he just disappear on one of his many train rides?  The fact of the matter is that I have spent four days wondering why the construct of the story happened.  It is a success.  It is stuck in my head.  It didn't need to be anything more than it was.  It was simple.  I have been looking for a big punch again, an answer that will solve the world's problems; my problems, but I have forgotten once again that the world's problems start as something very small within the citizens of the world.  The inconsistencies and anxieties that each individual feels feeds the dinosaur that is our society.  The whole turns about and eats the constituents.  To solve the worlds problems we all need to find our own balance and let the other guy be the other guy.  That is, at least, what I keep reminding myself.  It is, I think, just as correct as many of the sociologists hypotheses.

Til next time.

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