Wednesday, May 30, 2012

To see ourselves as others see us

I am nothing like that, he thought.

Two minutes to midnight. What the heck am I doing still
a. up?
b. faffing around on the internet?
c. sitting upright and tippy tapping at a computer when every muscle is screaming STOP/ LIE DOWN/ PICK UP WOLVES OF THE CALLA* AND READ, IDIOT WOMAN.

Oh, sigh. I wanted to post something, anything, just to let y'all know that I'm still here despite...

Oh, yes, despite some rather interesting stuff going on. That's 'interesting' in its Chinese sense. For we sure are living in interesting times. Of which, more later. Much later. And I'm talking months plural, so don't hold your breath.

But for now, I'm buzzing. Literally. There's a wasp's nest in my studio, somewhere up in the attic where all the ancient files and portfolios from Art College days are stacked. Somewhere in that tonnage of ancient paper, there's a whole lot of chewing going on; out of my awful drawings of old grizzled men, new life is being created. New insect life. I sit, flinching, splashing brushes around in my watercolours as overhead, wasps stitch a route twixt their nest and my Veluxes.

Sometimes they mess up their orienteering and fall, angry and vengeful, onto my wet artwork, and what a mess they do make. Then I get angry and vengeful, but my aim is atrocious and there follows a fruitless twenty minutes of my chasing the beasties round the studio, armed with a vast unwieldy duster against the possibility of being attacked by their tiny but accurate stinger. And in the middle of it all, sits a vulnerably wet and pale watercolour painting, at the mercy of any flailing insect or dislodged clot of cobweb and dust.

I'd far rather be playing around with charcoal and big bits of paper to produce drawings like the one at the top of this post. To do that, I stand up at my drawing board and get moving. The process is dynamic, not static. I put on some loud music. The walls and windows begin to - there is no polite way to say this, people, they throb.  Oh, yes indeedy. I get fizzicle. I get down and doity. I get my hands all black and mean looking and then I smudge my face by accident and after a few hours of this, I look like Pig-Pen on acid, by way of Calla Bryn Sturgis**, if it do please ya.***

Nothing like the ladylike person that sits, ducking marauding wasps and splishy-splashing in her watercolours. She's douce. She's all pastel twin-sets and vintage Jean Muir.

The one who draws in charcoal is an altogether more serious proposition. Phwoarrrrrr. You wouldn't want to meet that one on a dark night. No, really. You wouldn't.

*I have come late to the Stephen King master-of-fantasy-fiction party. Which in a way is a blessing, since it means I can read the Dark Tower seven novel sequence one after the other, which is as close to this reader's idea of heaven as it gets. And, it has to be said this reader hates fantasy. But the Dark Tower sequence... on this subject, words fail me entirely. Suffice to say, I am smitten.
** Lovely name. A place where terrible things happen to half of the children. One of the many Callas, townships/regions in the Dark Tower novels.
*** A phrase from the argot spoken in book 5 of the Dark Tower series. I'm not fluent, so forgive me if I've got that one wrong.