It's tempting to get mad when I go to the bathroom at night and see wet washrags tossed into the tub, left to sour as they dry if I don't hang them up, but it also means my filthy preteen and teen have washed their faces before bed. Which struggle is more valuable right now? Which battle is most in need of winning? Hygiene first. We'll master housekeeping later - once I'm certain they aren't walking greaseballs.
It's this tension that brings about creative expression in me. The moment where I pause between telling my kids to get up and hang up the towels versus doing it myself and internalizing a greater meaning regarding the decision. Creative expression is in every moment. It's not reserved for sketchpad or notebook The rewards of taking pause and allowing the conflict to play out its role are expansions. Expansions provide a greater view and then can be expressed. This is how it works for me anyway.
Is there any greater restraint shown by a child than in this picture? My mom's hand isn't actually holding me back, her touch is merely a sign of possession for posterity in a family reunion photo. No I'm literally drilling myself in place energetically only as long as required. There's a sense of a rocket about to go off, but it will obey and wait for count down.
This is the story of my life.
Most pastel work is quick and intuitive compared to laborious oil painting or detailed pencil work. What has to be captured, the essential in my opinion, is the tension that exists because the subject is caught in a moment. Both a person holding a pose and a photograph are static. Pastel portraits are one frame of stop motion, so even if the person is not in movement, you feel they will be the next time you blink.
When I am drawing a face, it's that conflict, the thinking behind the eyes and the turn of the mouth that I'm looking at to capture the person. I took a course once on pastel portraiture where the teacher proclaimed that once you had the mouth, you had the face, and that was a turning point for me in understanding. The rest is merely geometry.
Relatedly, my fascination with small mammals, I do believe, comes from a sense of camaraderie that I've always felt with them. Something of a shared disposition, especially with the ones that have little fingers that keep clenched and rest their faces in displays of concern or confusion. And knowing when to spring to action and when action will get you eaten by hawk.
Tonight's small animal is a collared pika, which lives in Alaska and can't handle hot weather at all. It pops up and around rocks as if it has jumping beans in its paws. It's related to rabbits but looks very much like a giant hamster.
This is a Chacoan mara.
Whenever I think of the word whatever I automatically recall a drunken Noel Gallagher eating fast food fries and shrugging on the set of Oasis's Whatever video. To me there is nothing more whatever than that. Being the biggest band on earth for however briefly/long and filming a music video with a string instrument chamber group of some sort, and you turn up so inebriated you barely remember the shoot. But forever you are there eating French fries while people play the cello and violin behind you. And the lyrics repeating whatever you say/whatever you do/yeah I know it's alright.
I have tried over the past several months. You have too.
Maybe you'd made a big success out of it. I have not.
What do people talk about these days? It's been so long since I had a real conversation. Even at work nothing matters or makes sense. Dialogue could be run backwards with the same result. As heavy as it all is and as much it would seem there is so much to beat to death, away from social media people stutter through attempts at piecing together what's been going on. We are at work to get some money and to maintain a facade of normalcy. The outside world might be burning, but when the security arm opens for us at the parking garage, it's a cool safe harbor we arrive at. That's really what keeps us returning.
While I'm there moaning about wasting my time when I could be working on art or helping my kids with their school work, I am also feeling the solidity of the floor with my feet, the hardness of my desk, and appreciating their reliability. That has been my state of being since mid-March. I'd hoped for something grand to arrive from the days folding over onto one another in crepe paper slices like making croissants from scratch, each blending so seamlessly with the rest that it's a great surprise when they rise and burst apart fat and delicious in the oven.
In the oven of the heat of August in Texas, nothing mouthwatering occurred.
And so I'm done waiting for something of value to write at the blog or my store to be open before I utter another word. Instead, September will be whatever (whatever *that* means). I'll be here frequently, learning to share pictures properly on Weebly (it's very clunky imo) and just rambling a lot I suppose. Nothing too heavy. For example, I'll save the meaning of life for at least November.