Popeye arms, but getting better
When I took Miss Marge Swenson on our date, we had a conversation. I tried to pawn my last kitten off on her. She said, “At this stage in my life it wouldn’t be fair to bring a cat into my home. I sure do miss having a cat.” She’s 93 and that was a valid, although sad, argument, it was sound of logic.
We talked a bit more and I found out her favorite color is purple. It used to be blue, but for some reason, she explained, it’d changed to purple. I immediately decided to paint her a cat.
When she saw the painting for the first time, she immediately named the purple cat, “Mr. B.” because that was the name of her friend. It absolutely delighted me to see her aglow with joy. I don’t think it gets any better.
In the small painting in the background, I filled that with four other paintings before I stopped myself and asked how I feel when I see Miss Marge. I see her as a breath of fresh air as if I were standing on a mountain on a clear sunny day in the early spring with maybe a suspicion of rain hanging in the air but not enough to feel any kind of muggy. As soon as I thought that, I saw it and painted it.
I liked the squishy flowers because I wanted them to represent the four Sunday’s in a month (sometimes five) when I get to see my Always Beautiful friend, Marge Swenson.
Okay, so I’ve been working diligently to amass my work for the first display of my art on June 20th. When I was asked to do this, I’d painted this and that, but focused on writing. Having compiled a book of essays, poems, and commentary, I felt satiated enough to move into another genre. I picked up a paintbrush, charcoal, pens, pencils and sheets of fantastica.
One Two pieces later I’m thinking, oh crap! Is this enough? Is this how I’m wishing to be marketed? Is it good enough? Will they like it? Love it? Hate it? Feel ambivalent towards it? Will my art, the creation of my brain from the inspirations that walk over it (like a Jamie Lopez styled painting that just drew itself while I wrote this) satisfy anyone?
You know what? I refuse to care. I wash my hands of the anxieties that are cropping up as the witching hour approaches. This means I’m doing something my mind and body consider to be questionable, dangerous, and that is why I need to do it. Even if I fail (and these thoughts are occurring to me) I’m going to do so with a collective work that glistens with the sweat of my effort. That reflect my love and light into the world in such a way that I feel nearly a sexual satisfaction of bringing these colors to life.
I have to keep reminding myself that I’m doing this for me. Yeah, it’s great if other people take a shine to what I do and even more spectacular when they want to give me money to do what I love. I mean, really. Who wouldn’t want to follow a dream, a hope, an idea all the way down the rabbit hole to see how far it goes? I suppose that’s what makes others comment my oddities to me as if I don’t exist because they’re right. I don’t.
I exist when I allow myself to be consumed by the world where art and breathing are synonymous. I am when I am so engulfed in what I’m doing I forget that I’m human. I become another entity. I love that feeling more as I embrace the whirlwind affair that is dragging me into deeper fields of challenge. But then, I come up for air in this physical world to find people doing what people do.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the people I know. I mean, I REALLY love them. They fill my heart with Rod Stewart songs (“Have I told you lately”) and promises of Moulin Rouge (“Come what may”). My head dances with inspiration from their very existence and I touch the promises of their truth with such delicate breaths that it makes me blush with the intimacy they allow me. It’s not even sexual. It’s like hanging out at someone’s house and everything they do, say, or ask is exactly the most perfect thing they could do, say, or ask of you. And with that, it’s a reciprocation of undulating commentary that ebbs, flows, waxes, wanes, drifts, waves, and hurricanes around in mystical walkways. Each word, phrase, or nothing is vibrant with understanding, love, compassion, and sometimes anger, disappointment, intolerance. Human stuff.
What I describe is not always how it is, it’s just what it’s felt like since I heard the words utter from my lips, “I am an artist.” And so I am.
I was given a very sun washed plastic fish. I wish I’d thought to take a before picture, but I know better than to argue when the muse calls my name. I just follow the “printed” instructions and get to what I’m told to do. I was changing up the art in my kitchen when inspiration hit. Five hours later, I have this to share with you.