I’ve been working on this painting for some time now. Not for lack of effort, but the delay came in because of the overwhelming tasks I have to complete lately, and in the process of taking on a new medium, I’m still learning.
As for what I’ve learned about watercolor, put the darkest paints on LAST. Working in layers is something a tad new overall, as charcoal work relies very little on layers concerning materials. I have also learned that I need actual watercolor paints, and not simply the watercolor pencils if I’m to be working on pieces of any large size. From a management standpoint, its taken some work on myself to allow a piece to take shape over very much longer periods of time. Where I could take a charcoal drawing from start to finish in one sitting, watercolor, and I imagine all types of painting is the practice of working on areas of the scene being depicted.
I was concerned at first the slow process of painting would dampen the way in which I lose myself in my artwork. Even working on just small parts of a piece I have found no loss of that energy, that passion, the intensity of creation.
I was recently organizing some computer files, photos, movies, documents, etc.. its not as tangible feeling as an old photo album, nor file of documents, but its none the less an interesting. Because of a divorce, all these images, these words feel like they now exist two shades, those with the other person’s character on them, and those without. What has become apparent looking through all this has been a reflection on the artwork I have done over time. Where in my youth, my drawings where that of something or someone powerful, comic book characters, scenes of super powers, and the beginnings of the human female form showing some type of attractiveness.
Later on, it was the exploration of the military world, drawing the unit art work, or specific jobs in the military I took interest in but was not assigned to. This was the point in my life where I began drawing directly from Playboy magazines, and despite the photo editing, and the uncomfortable positions the models might have posed in, it was a drastic difference from the world of comic book female characters who’s figures and poses were as unrealistic as the powers they possessed. The first inklings of drawing women from real life also began showing up, but it would be some time before this meant a nude figure.
Since the beginning of this century, I moved from the easily transported sketchbook or lined notebook filled with random sketching, to dedicated works mainly featuring the nude or implied nude female form on the best materials I am able to acquire. I’ve transitioned my skills to a new career in computer animation and art, but the personal works I undertake have been nearly entirely either of my children, or something they enjoy (popular characters, things they enjoy). What has become apparent… I’ve made a good deal of artwork which reflected my human needs and wants of that time period, what I was missing from my life.
For now, I await a change of the tides. Until then, my kids will find more and more art of them on my walls when they are here. While tides can change in different directions, and at different times, there is one thing that does not change.. that the tides do change, they are coming.
So I’ve painted my daughter at one of the favorite pumpkin patches we used to frequent near each Halloween. I didn’t crop this photo because in the background is my television. I have not have cable or broadcast television for going on tens years now, and I could not be happier with that decision. What is playing in the background is the movie Erin Brockovich on netflix.
Netflix is sort of a mixed bag. You get the service and for weeks or months, you have access to quite a selection of movies and TV shows. Of course, the titles depend on who knows what factors, but I’ve come to understand that nearly all bad movies are available right now, and they add decent, good, or great movies sporadically. Unless I specifically wrote it down on a list of things to get, I would normally forget to buy a copy of Erin Brockovich, as story driven movies have always slipped through my thoughts when compiling list of movies to get. This movie though is one of my favorites though, and its a bit ironic it showed up only a few days ago (at least to my attention) on the only service I have for my television set.
Why this movie showed up now, I have no idea, but…. First of all, the desert featured in the movie is the desert I grew up in, not the town specifically, but it might as well have been. Second, of course, the movie shows a great deal of matters that involve our court system, something that I’m currently involved in. Third, its always difficult to watch the single mom problems the main character is faced with. Forth, the case in the movie itself.
With pending changes of career, various court rulings, and a number of other factors, I feel homeless right now. No, I do live in a building that I’m paying money for, and have all the trappings of everyday normality, but as far a geographically speaking, I feel detached from any spot on the planet. I had considered the desert my home, but I have no further connections to that desert other than memory, and the sanctuary which exist inside of a single person who lives there. With all these changes coming, I sometimes wonder if I will ever spend any time there again. I’ve driven through the area numberous times, and may have to again as a major freeway runs through there, but I don’t know if I will ever find a place to sleep there, cook a meal there… I would settle for smiling there though.
Where will I end up? I do not know. As much as I do not know where I will end up living, I have no idea if I will end up living with anyone. There are two things I do know, 1. Kids need somewhere to call home, and 2. At some point, everyone dies, and that happens somewhere on the planet. If one has to choose a place to call home, make a smart choice, because you’re picking not only the place you will live in, but die in as well. I noticed this on the job, places where older folks barely living on social security and maybe a small retirement benefit if they were lucky. Despite living in the state of California, only a short drive from the sea, and a bulk of the world’s financial wealth, they ended up dying in a small, often cluttered, foul smelling, depressing little apartment that faced an industrial zoned area. Dead is dead, but that just seemed unpleasant.
The single mom aspect of this movie is difficult to watch for those who experienced it themselves, either as the parent, or the children. My brothers and I went though the kid’s side of this for many years. Like all hard times, its something you don’t want to repeat, but you tried to make the best of the situation. As I became an adult, and married, I watched many women who became friends of our household in the role of the single, divorced mother struggling to keep her head above water. We helped them out in any capacity we could, including gifted money, rent free space in our home, babysitting.. I have many times cooked meals and watched even the smallest of single mothers devour large amounts of food because it had been awhile since anyone did that for them, and maybe had access to that much quality food. I was a very good feeling setting that plate on the table, pulling extra blankets from our closet, and hooking their kid’s video game system to our television.
There is one woman I’m thinking of specifically. Divorced twice, domestic violence, three kids with one on the way, working two full time jobs, taking care of her kids, she ended up a close friend of our house. I remember the night I put Erin Brockovich on for her. I told her she could turn it off if she wanted, because some parts would be difficult to watch, referring to the struggles the main character had trying to take care of her kids with almost nothing. She had cried several times during the movie. Its a difficult feeling now, knowing the thousands of dollars that we helped her with, the time spent helping her when she was sinking, just being there when life would simply not let up on her, and now, she speaks my name only in venom and acid. That i find myself now in a similar situation of being disadvantaged by supporting a partner’s career for so long seems like the examples given when describing how the cast of mythology would deal with such things to their humor.
I have a great deal of life to accomplish in the next two years. I also have two kids who need me to give it everything I got, and then add on an extra 10% to that. While I have not kept a single weblog for the past few years, I did manage to grow one shortly after one went down. I want to say working on and keeping a weblog was something i did because I liked to write, or had something to say, or wanted to put my ideas of projects on the web, but when it comes down to it, I wanted communication with others. Much like drawing feminine women because I was with one who did not value femininity, I made weblogs because keeping handwritten journals only communicates with people in the future, and I missed having a social life.
My primary audience was small for a long time. As my weblogs needed to become more and more a private club, or secret clubhouse, the measures taken to obscure it from common searches turned a seaside coffee bistro, in to small but luxury beach condo. I’d love to dance around how to elaborately word this to mean something to one particular person, but nothing to anyone else, but I’m pressed for time right now. In the past, I was scolded for my reaction to difficulty by zero-ing out my web presence. Now, I don’t know if I should close the doors here, or leave a light on for that particular traveler, even if they left a note they can’t come back. I suppose there is no harm in leaving this place here for awhile, even if I’m not posting regularly, or checking the hit counter.
My best guess is that with my new career’s duties, I won’t be able to avoid a web presence, but this one here, it may be like returning to one’s childhood neighborhood, seeing everything paved over or old buildings removed and replaced. Will this end up a historical house, or a parking lot? For right now, I don’t know, and for the first time in my life, I don’t need to make a quick decision. I’ll leave the keys in their usual hiding spot, the blankets are in the linen closet, and well see whats here when I open the door next time I’m driving by.
If I do sell this place and they pave it over, its not of spite. It’s simply just very hard to drive this place and know that electronic scent is forever missing…