blackbird.jpg (30437 bytes)

2006-01-31 @ 2:17 p.m.
how artists seek to impress


Yesterday we had another one of those freakishly warm days up here near Canada. It was so warm in fact, that the local news channel brought out our good old weather cat. Yup. We have a weather cat. Doppler the Weather Cat. And he/she is so awesome. Its fat. Its orange. And it usually sleeps during the entire weather forecast. But yesterday, it was all about being the Star Weather Cat that it is. It was yawning. Its was stretching its short, stumpy legs rather fetchingly. I am truly waiting for the day when it turns its big furry ass towards the camera during a live broadcast and does a big old fat weather cat turd. Wouldn’t that be cool?

I could just see Wayne the weather guy’s reaction: “And it looks like we have a Noreaster coming up the East Coast which should be just brushing our part of the....(looking over at a long cat turd hanging part way out of Doppler the Weather Cat’s butt)...and...heh, heh. It looks like Doppler is doing an update of his own...heh, heh.” And then the news camera suddenly zooms in on Wayne’s abnormally white teeth as we hear him laughing, and everyone in the newsroom laughing.

Now that would be a weather report I could really get into.

But alas, its just the same old, same old. Rain. Snow. Rain. Snow. Rain. Snow, punctuated with 1 minute of sun every 23 days.

Fortunately though, the weather has been good so far for my Monday night art class at the YMCA. I had been worried about taking a night class in January. The maintenance and snow removal at our apartment complex is done by an 80 year old man. It’ll snow 8 inches and he’ll go out once a day, do a single swipe with a snow shovel...throw down one hand full of rock salt on the stairs and then go and listen to his Regis Philbin CDs the rest of the day. And he doesn’t even shovel at the mailboxes which is right under a place that drips water and then freezes into an ice rink. Its just really terrible. So I have taken on the responsibility for my particular building to sweep all the snow off the entire walk. Its mostly old ladies who live here and our wooden walk is extremely slippery even with a light coating of snow. And to be honest, I’m afraid I’m going to fall too, so its not entirely altruistic. We also don’t get any sun on the creekside of the building, so it doesn’t melt either. Its just like a sheet of ice.

But getting to my class the last 4 weeks hasn’t been a problem so far, and for that I’ve been thankful. I love doing art, but if I have to do it at home I won’t do it. I need a structured place with other people around, in order for my art motor to get revved up....even if its only the YMCA. So I showed up early Monday night. I’ve already used up my allotted 3 canvases for the course, because I’m like Speedy Gonzales on art projects. I usually finish things up in the 2 hour time period. About the only thing I had done in advance was sketch out an image at home. I had gotten the inspiration from a local catalog. But I did make it my own, of course, since I don’t want to plagiarize anything.

The young art boy teacher was already there setting up. He’s pretty cute. He’s a Gemini I found out and he’s so Gemini-ish. One minute he’s discussing Communism and how it squashed culture in certain countries and then he’s talking about bodily functions and then where to find staple guns at Home Depot. He was trying to impress this woman with some intellectual artist rhetoric. It was way over her head (she’s been painting a tree for 4 weeks after all). She just sort of nodded her head blandly. Don’t want to scare any of the Villagers after all, you liberal hippie artist.

But I took him on. He doesn’t know that I’ve been hanging out with the artsy hippie liberal types in our town for the last two and a quarter years. I’ve listened to all their bullshit, pseudo-intellectual conversations about German Impressionists. I don’t usually know what the hell they’re talking about, but I’ve learn to kind of knowingly tilt my head and do my fuck-em artist half smile. Like yeah, Klimt was an asshole. He used to whack off in the mens room at the Four O’Clock Bar on 64th Street. I have no idea what I just said, but all the artist will, of course, also knowingly nod their heads too and smile their half smiles. We’re all full of bullshit.

But this kid is young. He’s just testing out his artist bullshit. Nobody else in the art class has absolutely any idea what he is talking about. But I do...even though I don’t. That’s part of the fun. He did end up sitting with me, jabbering a mile a minute. He picked up the catalog I had brought in. Its one of those liberal hippie rags with Martin Luther King posters and “Impeach Bush” bumperstickers for sale in it. He thought it would be fun to take away my “source” material by putting the magazine face down and telling me to paint the picture from my heart. I was doing that already. I always make everything my own anyways.

My only problem with the class is that I’m supposed to be using them for social contacts too. But unfortunately I get so involved in my work, I forget to be sociable, other than the young art boy teacher telling me where he’s going to put his next tattoo. There was one African American woman I was interested in maybe connecting with because she seemed kind of free spirited. She’s been working on this 3 dimensional multi-layered “thing” for 4 weeks. It looked kind of cool initially, but now she’s putting too much on it. Plus while she’s working on it, she talks to it, sings to it, dances near it. And she has the makings of a drama queen. She came in about 15 minutes late with a large flourish, announcing rather dramatically that she had a splitting headache and we should feel sorry for her. And then for the entire class, she was singing this tuneless song with but two lyrics. The song was entitled, from what I could gather, “I’m Cranky”. Because that’s what she was singing....continuously. Yeah. Ok. We get it. And we may be joining you soon if you sing it...one....more....fucking....time.

But despite all the distractions, I did manage to make some art. As usual, my teeny tiny postage stamp sized scanner ate about 30% of my image, but here is my “Take me to the Light” painting.



Not too much going on today, except seeing the ever-delightful “A”. I had been in bad shape last week, but we had a good session. We hit all the usual points. Yes, I’m lonely. Yes, I was once in love with Married Guy (not sure why “A” brought that up). Yes, “J” the married man at work is showing too much interest by calling me at home and yesterday when I humorously suggested that he wear an apron while we presented the Cleaning segment of our group, he asked if he should wear anything underneath it. Of course I was sitting there thinking, I’m pretty sure an apron will probably (cough) cover it, dude.

And then “A” hit upon my absolute, favoritest, coolest, fantabulous subject in the entire universe to the nth power, sMatch.com. He must own stock in the company. He must!! I was telling him how this woman I work with has been using their services the last 4 months and at least a full quarter of the guys she has dated from there HAVE BEEN MARRIED. Fruck, if I want a married man, I don’t have to pay an internet service for them. My life is crawling with them. I’d much rather put the money towards something fun like a facial or some new boots or something.

“A” did really like my painting though. I occasionally bring in my work since I don’t really have anyone to show my stuff to..well, except the World Wide Internet. But its different when you show someone in person and they can see the whole image and you can get immediate feedback. It feels really good. Definitely something I need to start working on my rather feeble self-esteem.


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