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1:32 p.m. - 2010-05-21
The Kitchen Da Vinci

Well, that was interesting. A few entries back I mentioned I'd bought myself some art supplies. At the time I didn't go into any detail, not feeling ready yet to discuss or use them. Today I did. Use them, I mean. And will discuss them, duh. LA, queen of the obvious strikes again! Anyway, I'd treated myself to a big box of tube watercolors, a package of assorted brushes, and a pack of small practice canvasses. I'd only ever worked with pot watercolors before and was leery of the tube ones, mostly because I knew I'd have to fudge around for a while learning to thin and mix them decently. I'd painted off and on again since I was a kid. Not in any kind of impassioned 'must paint or die!' way, it was just something I liked to do occasionally. Especially when painting with words got cumbersome and wearying. But like so many things that had to be put aside when Wolf came along, painting for pleasure would have been imposs when he was in his destructive phases and had to be watched constantly. Then life got busy, what with renovating the house and getting divorced and dating and all that jazz. Art for pure art's sake disappeared out of my life entirely. Then the other day it dawned on me that it was safe to buy paints again, Wolf's almost 13 and not likely to find, pry open and smear them from one end of the house to the other as he surely would have in his younger days, no matter how carefully hidden and fastly secured. So I bought my paints. But it still took over a week for me to get around to using them.

Today was the first time in 14 years I held a paintbrush in my hand. It felt good.

I make no claims to talent. Or to technique. But that's the nice thing about the arts, you don't have to be good at them to enjoy them. The dog howls and whimpers when I sing. I dance like my ass is on fire and my head's about to flame up next. I can pick up the various musical instruments around the house and make noise come out of them, but gravel trucks grinding gears are more melodic. No matter. Making music and enjoying it with my bod are private pleasures and aside from the dog's suffering nobody's hurt by my atonal screeching or spastic dancing and playing.

So it is with painting. The joy is in the doing, the laughable results are moot.

I really like the tube watercolors! What a nice surprise. The pigment is so much brighter and clearer than pot paints. Today's test run piece was stark right-angled geometrics, but soon I'll be graduating myself to faux Kandinsky kinds of things. Still geometric, but much freer in their application. Oddly, especially for someone who's as much of a realist as I am, I have zero interest in literal representational art. I adore Anna's stuff. Her sketch of my house has pride of place in a fancy frame on the dining room sideboard. Witty is striking in her ability to capture both the realistic and the fanciful in the same piece, to say nothing of her glorious use of color. (Honestly, her colors are so wonderful it knocks me over.) But those two are artists and I am a hobbyist. At least when it comes to the visual arts.

Having fun. (Is that allowed?) ~LA

5 Wanna talk about it!

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