Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Been meaning to post for over a month now. With Easter break I had no students to note-take for, and a month's worth of free time. I did things, so had something arbitrary to mention at the least. I've been thinking about why I haven't shared anything; I have ample imagery, and some to say of it, and I usually enjoy the act of compiling/cataloging....

Maybe I never intended to share, maybe the invisible option of posting about a day was merely a reason to get out of bed and do something, and by not spending time with a real human, I could excuse such odd behavior by talking about time with virtual ones. I used the "I'll make a post about/out of that later" tool to spur me on, and maybe excuse the fact that none of the things I did indeed do/see involved making a concrete decision about my not too distant future...

Perhaps this lack of mature time usage was the reason I didn't post, a kind of, "if I haven't done anything "useful" I can't very well shout about that fact at people".

Or, possibly, there are no listeners, nobody to share with, and I should stop feeling so inexcusably malcontent at the thought that, when I experience something, no matter how lovely, that's it, that's the height of it, and never again quite the same. C'est tout.

So my mini-misadventures aren't to be offered yet. Something else then.

I've been drawing a little recently, mainly as gifts for people I'm tired of buying soap for, people who mean more than candles and cruelly cut flowers. Right. My mother, mother's day, I sketched the dog for her, because we're all in love with the dog, and he truly is a domesticated tiger. I hadn't sketched in an age (really, maybe years), and felt particularly daunted by the fact that the dog is more photographed and scrutinized than any other member of the family, not one to mis-capture then. I used a beautiful box of Conte crayons my dad had bought me for Christmas while I was still at school, but never used because I wasn't confident how to, how typical of me. My first use of Conte crayon:

After the family excitement and praise, I figured I should sketch my Mams's dog, for her 70th birthday. Here she is, unfinished, named Sadie, after a prostitute in a Somerset Maugham story, that's my wonderful grandmother for you.

Apologies for the angle and cropping, I had to cut myself out, my eyes were full of the "please like it, look what I can do" crap that you should only have to read about! After becoming re-accustomed to the ease of drawing I really wondered if a return to paint would be similarly welcoming. As a painter who hadn't painted anything other than pretty patterns and decorated walls since early 2010 (and that was for a crappy film) I'd "been meaning to paint" for ages. Oh man does it feel good to have that brush running around with your thoughts below your hand. It's sad that it was lost for so long, and worrying that it'll happen again.

It's not the most interesting, and the sky is lighter than I'd thought because I painted it by lamplight, but cathartic yes sir, speedy too, couple of hours with the sketching included. Though not very big, a fraction larger than A4 I would say, in oils - a medium I didn't have much time to familiarize myself with before throwing down the brush some time ago. With my tendency to lick the tip or put it in my mug of tea rather than dip in turpentine, it's understandable really, nobody wants to accidentally ingest anything that "the State of California has recognized as encouraging birth defects" eh?! Shit me, fingers and toes (crossed) I'm barren!

My afore-alluded to misadventures, procrastinations and intentions to make, took me to the (virtual) road, I like Google Maps street view, if there was a night option it would loose me days at a time, it's tailor-made for creeps. I'd intended to search potentially architecturally interesting places for photographically strange instances therein, with the idea that I'd eventually get around to painting them. As with any project that begins with the internet, it was fitfully interjected with distractions. These are some distractions.

This screen-cap came about of my ham-fisted attempt to press command, shift, 3. I muddled my choice and somehow Amsterdam went all children's magazine 3D glasses on me. The below I like for it's blurred creepiness and spying open window relegated to the background, the land of stalkers and spies.

I haven't painted from any yet, or constructed any scenes loosely based on key elements, I still want to, but am unsure what the point would be. M thinks the point is to paint for myself, and with the feeling that came from the house with lamp above, I can admit that that's enough of a reason, especially for a person constantly looking for distractions in feeling sorry and shitty for herself. Maybe the key for me is getting over the urge of having to justify everything, what I do, how, why, who for, that I exist, everything.

My advanced apologies to serious photographers now. It's confused me in the past that I can take endless photographs, and have no real qualms in sharing such "work". I think it's because I'll always be an excuse-making (non)painter, and that photographs and their acquisition are to me kinds of vehicles for a more finite destination rather than an approximation of the finite thing itself, (which is strange as Photography is the device seen as the more precise or finite capturer of moments, and the other arts less scientifically adept and more subjective) it is perhaps for this reason that Photorealist paintings don't move me at all beyond "Ok, good hand eye coordination eh....?". In this instance the "thing" is an idea or feeling. It may be that I'm a poor photographer unable to communicate to a high intensity or magnitude. It's complex and contradictory, and there are doubtless tomes of theories on the subjects, so that's as best I can try to explain it myself for now.

I have to go to work now, so have to cut to the credits here. I'm kind of thinking "I've done something" with my morning, which is both true and foolish, and a habit I'm itching to shake-off. Why do we, certainly me, need to quantify time in such a way? That's not even how time works, but if you're in the world of working and dividing up your time by what you make, what you spend, rather than what you might really be worth (in a totally non monetary sense, in a balanced with humanity sort of shared worth, if you will) ... Aaaah! When did mark-making, for yourself, get so damn difficult? When living for life is supposed to be easy I guess. It's fucking hard though, isn't it?