Tuesday, August 28, 2007

when things look shabby

I grew weary of the sight my front foyer was presenting. Cleaning the water fountain just wasn't enough. Something had to happen in this corner directly across from the front door. I needed visual impact as it's the first space seen by the naked eye upon entering. The mirrored tapestry was helpful, but the bare plywood floor was driving me nuts. Sad fact is we don't quite know what we're going to install in the hall ~ wood or tile. Could be a coin toss. I crave immediate gratification in my environment. Even now is too late. Painting on the floor seemed the quickest route.

So I scrounged the basement for some primer and a decent brush. The search for a brush quickly became futile, but I persevered and adapted, finding a large grout sponge. With the floor sort of cleaned (cat/dog hair is frequently included in my handiwork) and people ready to get to the beach, I splotched primer in place and left it to dry while we swam. To add to my joy of creativity, my mother hosted a sleep over at her place with a subsequent trip to a beach by the ocean tomorrow. Dirk was still at work. By 6:30pm, I had started painting; by 8:30 pm things looked like this . . .

As usual, I don't know what it'll become. It's been a long time since I've used acrylic paints (college *wince*) so it took me awhile to get the hang of it. I know we'll be installing floors over this soon enough (let's not define 'soon' right now, please), but I'm treating this exercise as pure experience. Like Navajo sand paintings, like the mandalas pored over by Tibetan monks, I know this is impermanent, but sometimes that is exactly what adds to the Beauty.

Monday, August 27, 2007

left hand plays

It wasn't hot enough for me to bother swimming, but I trucked my read and the sketchbook with the bag of oil pastels to the lakeside beach. The child/youths all swam while I settled myself on a beach chair and wriggled my toes in the sand. For awhile, it looked like we'd have the beach to ourselves ~ a rarity. I flopped the sketchbook open to the blank page and waited for words and inspiration to strike. I like to write words in my visual journal first ~ the words that need to be hidden get lost in the art, but at least they've been expressed.

With thoughts put down in legible English, no haiku, I waited again for something to flicker. After awhile, my left hand, the one I don't usually use to draw or write with, idly fingered through the bag of oil pastels. I began sketching with the first color it grabbed. When I got tired of that color, I'd reach in for another without looking and sketch. I continued moodling this way, layering color on color for a good hour. Aside from the writing, it was pure left-hand processing.

What's interesting is the colors my left hand chose. Normally, I overlook those olives, grays and browns, heading straight for the brazen oranges, magenta or acid greens. My left hand wanted quiet, easy tones. And the shapes were different too. I let them meander. No radial splashes, zig-zags or spirals, the visual toys I usually play with. All in all, Lefty and I had a lovely afternoon at the beach. I recommend it highly.

I guess, in this way, drawing can be like yoga. One doesn't just practice asanas on one side of the body, it makes for an unbalanced human. So drawing with the non-dominant hand balances one. That other side of the brain gets to play and call the shots. That other hand gets to feel what the other hand is usually doing. It was a different thing cleaning pastel from my left hand.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

If I had the camera today . . .

You might see a photo of the very first ever grown tomato here:

But that will have become a sandwich by the time I get the camera back from the job site where it's working overtime chronicling job site snafu's.

You might also see a photo of the Furlana knit project just started ~ loved the Linen stitch so much, I decided I may as well do the hat and mitt project from Interweave Knits.

And then there's the never-ending Rambouillet fleece being scoured and spun on spindle. If there were a photo I could put here:

You'd see that I've barely made a dent in the pile of wool. I suspect it was sheared from a giant sheep ~ something from Hogwarts maybe. Molly Weasley would be disapproving of my lack of progress and I'd get one of those Howlers.

Reality is not being touched upon in this post at all today. Must have the camera . . . my precious!