Friday, December 10, 2010

Tiny Miracles

#250 - Draw Something You Got For Free

I've been engaged in an experiment for the last two weeks, called "Miracle Walks."
I leave the house for my morning run (OK, so I changed that part a little, but I have to get a run in, and I'm so slow it's almost like walking anyhow...) and I set the intention to find a miracle along the way.

On the first day I had an idea that I might find something fantastic, or at least useful, and draw it for the challenge listed above. I always pick things up along the way, cans for deposit fees, found objects for my recycled art, coins, etc. This wasn't really anything out of the ordinary for me, but I thought by starting with small miracles I would be assured of success. I was wrong. I found nothing. I did see a rubber slipper along the side of the road, but there was only one slipper and I have two feet, so it wasn't of any value. I came home empty handed, carrying only resentment that those people who litter the street with footwear are never considerate enough to pitch both halves of the pair out their car window.

Day two, I again left the house stating my intention to find a miracle. Again, the only thing I saw was that stupid lone slipper. As I passed it, I was feeling a little guilty. Maybe I really should pick it up just for the sake of community service. Or might it be re purposed somehow? I was becoming obsessed with the darned thing.

Day three, same intention, same results. Not even so much as a soda can; pickings were really slim! On my last mile, I again saw the slipper. I almost kept going, but reluctantly stopped to scoop it into my bag. I was just picking up my pace again when I saw -- the other slipper! OK, I know what you're thinking. That's not much of a miracle, it was there all along and I just didn't see it until the third day. You are probably right, but yet, it was there in plain sight, not hidden by weeds or camouflaged by its color, less than four yards away from its mate. And I have an eagle eye when I'm out treasure hunting. It is (to me, at least) a puzzlement!

One day during the next week I woke up with the feeling I'd just had a very important dream, but try as I might, I could not remember any part of it. I did remember a scrap of music, though. It was a sweet, bluesy tune, I knew it was fairly contemporary and sung by a man, but I couldn't come up with the name. All through my morning "miracle" run, that music kept playing in my head, an annoying loop that just wouldn't quit. And the only words I'd matched to it were - "Tragedy... somethingsomethingsomething" I really wanted to find the lyrics, because I thought they held the clue to the message from my dream that I'd forgotten. A google search later yielded no answers.
By the next morning I'd forgotten all about it, until the rhythm of running brought that @*$# music back into my head. I completed my run and emptied my goody bag -- about a dollars' worth of cans and bottles, some beads, and a CD. I had intended to paint a mandala on the CD, but on closer inspection it was in perfect shape, shiny as a new penny, seemingly not a scratch on it. Then I read the titles, the artist... Continuum, by John Mayer... a shiver was travelling up my spine. There it was, sure enough, on track #4. Gravity!
I dusted it off and it played beautifully (except for one track I had no interest in.) My "message" was clear as glass, and I quote: "Oooh twice as much -- ain't twice as good -- and it can't sustain like one half could." Get it? My message from the Universe was, stop carting home all this junk, for gosh sakes! I think that's absolute proof that God has a crackerjack sense of humor :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pickers and Hoarders and Reality TV

#30, Draw a Chair;
#182, Draw a Truck;
#206, Draw something that is familar to you that is called something else in another region

I am on the glitzy side, the touristy side, the fussy and pretty side, of our wonderful island. DH and I woke up in a nice hotel. It's a special weekend away for us. It is a dry, hot day under cloudless Kona skies, so instead of hanging out by the pool or on the seashore sipping Mai Tai's , I am doing what, exactly? Well, I'm hangin' out in a scrapyard, of course! Hubby is digging through some shipping containers full of old marine hardware, and I, after oggling some really cool vintage autos, decaying Art Deco hotel furniture and old neon signs - I am lounging in the shade of an old tractor trailer and sketching a scene of someone else's hoarded junk. This is bliss!

I have a new favorite TV show. When I first stumbled upon it, I must admit, I was drawn in by the background scenery of fields and farmsteads. Immediately I thought - "that looks like home!" And it was. The show is set in LeClaire, Iowa; a river town I used to gaze upon from my bedroom window vantage point in Rapids City, Illinois - directly across the Mississippi. A lifetime ago - I used to live there! But the appeal of the show is about something else.
I come from a long line of auction, yard sale and dumpster diving collectors. Now, thanks to the History Channel, I know there is a word for us; "pickers." We hunt, we buy, we store, (hoard?) and hopefully eventually use, refurbish and/or resell. You can have your boutiques, fashion houses and upscale shopping. We "pickers" love nothing more than a collection of, well, this.
I'm in Hawaii. I'm in a junkyard. I'm in heaven. (Oh, and #206? Some call them Snow Cones or Shaved "with-a-D" Ice, but if you live here, you know they are and will always be "Shave Ice!"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Seem to Have It Backwards(?)

#268 - Draw Something You Need

When I first saw this challenge (yes, it was a long, long time ago!) all I could think about was Abraham Maslow's theory of the hierarchy of needs. I wished to illustrate this in terms of the first level of human motivation - as in, we humans most need air, water, food, sleep, etc. I was planning to get quite "cute" about this, but couldn't quite put my finger on how.

Meanwhile, I'd fallen into one of my extended periods of funk, which always coincide with artist's block/existential depression. For me they are one and the same, just something about the way I am wired. So, looking back to the date of my last post here, I "blocked" around Thanksgiving of last year. Between then and now the rest of Maslow's levels, as regards my life, have all been threatened by the depth of my bad moods and miserable behavior. That is to say: Level two - safety, (employment); Level three - love and belonging, (marriage); Level four - esteem (sense of achievement). It's not until the last of these levels - five, self actualization; that creativity comes in, according to the master. And yet for me...

Something I need - hummmmn - at first I thought I would illustrate a still life of art supplies. But I do not need those, I have more than enough. Nor do I need the time to use them, I have that, too. I just need "permission" to get myself into the studio and JUST DO IT!!! Yet I've recently spent seven months spinning my wheels, trying to do only that, and swimming in self loathing all the while and making those around me nuts.

Recently I sat myself down with the least worthy of my supplies stash (Crayola poster paints, to be specific, and toned bristol cover stock) and forced myself to do nothing more than push the paint around the page, and to play. And this came into being, a weird non-symmetrical mandala, which I sort of like. So that's what I need, most of all, to stay sane. Just to do something, anything, to create.