Sunday, August 26, 2007

Plan-tag-e-net, adj.

For my birthday this year, I was given an Ipod. The idea was to bring my tune-whistling equipment into the 21st century and away from the single cassette/CD playing boombox of 1992 that just wouldn't die. It was fine boombox. Fine enough for a ten year just discovering his taste in music. And so it has a new owner, proud to not know what a cassette tape even is. And I....I love my new Ipod. I gather that everybody loves their new Ipod, only for different reasons. My BIG reason, other than being able to fit every CD I own and still listen to on it with a mere 22GB left to fill, is audio books! Love the audio book. High prices and sketchy reviews rein this world of highly literate audio action, but I don't care. I (used to) love reading before my kids needed reading to and the internet replaced that special time we all make for page turning and immersion into the art of words. And while I do still read most nights, much of the effort leaves me with broken moments only remembered for the purpose of avoiding another literary deja vu. It can be very frustrating. Especially when you find yourself thinking of all the things you could be doing with your hands at the same time; drawing, knitting, folding laundry, scrubbing toilets......ok, that might be pushing it just a little. But you get the idea.

So anyway, I was given a copy of,"Harry Potter and the Order of something something", you know, the one the new movie is named after. An excellent unabridged 26 hrs. about a character I didn't know I cared a thing about. Very full of angst, that kid. However, what I missed most at it's conclusion was the old English accent of the narrator and drawl of strange names and new words that seem terribly overused after you've heard them more than twice in what amounts to 500...600+ pages of writing. I must be hard to please. Anyhoo, it took a lot of research, a few stand-in podcasts and even a couple of Ray Bradbury radio clips and short Sherlock Holmes stories before I found my next "old English" fix. I found it though, A mere 13 hr. commitment, short based on my previous experience with that Potter kid, to "Mistress in the Art of Death, " by Ariana Franklin. Truly excellent.

I can only describe it, in audio drama terms, as CSI: Cambridge, England circa 12th century. A female doctor, who "talks to the dead," from Salerno, Italy is sent to Cambridge, by request of King Henry II, to clear the name of the local Jewish community as "baby-eaters", basically. It had all the layers required of a good whodunit; a couple of worldly pilgrimages, deception of female vocation, at least one ax-wielding eunuch, much historical reference to religious bigotry, freaks in antlers dancing around womb-like chalk caves....oh yeah, it was all there. But what I will miss most, now that it's plot too has neatly rounded to conclusion, is hearing all the new names and the new words that will, no doubt, be stuck in my head like a tune on the radio. Words like, "Plantagenet", "Sir Rowely," "S-a-l-e-r(roll on tongue)-n-ooo." Words I suddenly feel the need to look up, curious to know why I didn't know them(better, in some cases) before, exactly as if I'd read them from a page in the book....


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vision Quest

If I had to precisely guesstimate my time spent as a stay-at-home mom, I'd say it's been about 10 or 11 years, give or take my odd job as a silversmith. But that was at least two kids back and had next to nothing to do with drawing, illustration or 2-D art, in any general way. I loved it though. We fabricated, by hand, Rebecca Collins' pieces. Mostly earrings and bracelets and necklaces. The best part was.......playing with fire. Seriously. All that potential for big trouble and, yet, so much precision at the tip of a flame, from a torch, attached to a tank of gas!!! Never mind the grinders, the blades that could cut through sheets of metal, lapidary saws, metal snips, molten solder.....argh, argh, argh! Loved. It.

Mask. colored pencil, graphite, ink.

But more children happened and life went on and I was afforded the opportunity to stay home and I took it. The one thing I wasn't doing that I felt like I oughta' be doing, for money maybe, was drawing. Somehow, in the back of my head is there is a nagging voice in my head that says, "Go forth and create a portfolio...of something. Anything. Scribble scratch'll do at this point. For the love of God, woman, do it for children...." It's a very Charles Heston-like voice. Anyway, it had a point. Money hasn't really been the object of my desire, so much as not wanting to let loose the drive to try. To do what I don't know I can do....yet.

Sorry about the bad photos.

So this year, with only one child left to chase out of the peanut butter jar only a daily basis, I've decided to buckle down and "do". "Do" draw, "do" paint, "do" muddle through till I find a style that suits, with consistency. Just "do". And, in this vein, I took the figure drawing class and I've accompanied my husband to the Art Walk and I've started what I hope becomes a series of drawings and/or watercolors. Too much the personal pep-talk? Yeah, well....I'm pretty sure every quest started with some crazy dude trying to appease the voices in his head. Or is that serial crime? Hmm...


Last Session

Kind of a sad week. Not only was it the last class, but the model had stage 4 cancer of unknown origin and a single mom to boot. She knows it's going devastate her physical self before it's all over, so she thought she'd brave a session as a model instead of a student. made me cry, which made me feel foolish, so I did my best to choke it and left with wet snot spots on the front of my shirt. Long story short, there's an extensive family history behind those wet spots. Grief is just sneaky like that, I guess.

Anyway, some of us went for pizza and beer after. Where I locked my keys in my car and had to wait for my knight in the shiny blue mini-van to unlock the horse that I rode home in. 'Twas an eventful night by my standards.