Today's Lesson: Seriously, how did I even make this video?
I've actually become Flannery O'Conner's "I have to write to discover ..."
Just so you don't think I had any idea what I was thinking while filming this nor what I was going to say before writing this !
Well - not 100% true. As the camera rolled, I recall half thinking - hey, this camera's going to fall on the painting and the other half of me's thinking and for sure I'm going to spill this glass of water when I'm dipping my brush into it ... trying to see over the camera to paint ... and all in an effort to relax on a Sunday.
And if I'm more than the actual sum of all my parts, then another part of me is thinking how I'm more than just a little bit disconcerted that I'm unable to lean my painting hand on anything solid besides just flailing it in the air because there's an iPhone propped up just under my nose and I've got to reach over it to brush a load of colour onto an unstable piece of paper my left hand's holding at a somewhat awkward angle that I can't see so the camera can see it.
And as I write, I'm reminded of a lesson I used to teach art students years ago on how to do their blind contour self-portrait homework drawings I've assigned where I'd have to draw upside down and backwards without actually placing my feet on the model stand (because that would be disrespectful and I was modelling good behaviour and following 'the rules') ... while holding a newsprint pad against a drawing board against my legs dangling off the edge of the stand as I taught the 2nd lesson. I'm drawing a volunteer student, pretending I'm looking in a mirror at myself, we always smile the same way at one another before I start, and I'm off ... this just after showing everyone how to sharpen a pencil with an x-acto knife with all 35 of them squeezing in close to one another holding their knives and pointy pencils to see what I'm doing ... and I'd seriously do this six times that week (well not all that seriously because I always felt pretty street smart after I was done) ... I got to show off my self-tattoo ... the one from the very first class I ever taught ... given when I'd proudly tapped the needle-sharp point of my pencil against my palm proving what a good point I'd made. You only do that once. I could prove I wasn't totally dotty).
There was only one dot.
At least I wasn't being filmed like that time during the job interview when I did the demo in front of a class of fellow faculty-to-be's in a room not set up for drawing where I'd had to draw, upside down and backwards, sitting on a chair on top of an office desk at the front of the class while wearing a short skirt hoping the back legs of the chair weren't wiggling their way backward and were still at least an inch away from the back edge of the rounded edge of the desktop it was on while my two feet hooked upwards holding onto the drawing board with the paper clipped to it hoping it hid my bare legs. That lesson happened way too fast for the assessor nor anyone else in there to realize how dangerous it actually was. I'd had to think fast on my feet after realizing in a flash I'd not properly planned my props.
Back to the Present: Truth be told, Saturday night, I unintentionally pulled an all nighter watching botanical watercolour painting videos on YouTube so when I came downstairs, Sunday morning, and pulled out my new stash of paints, paper and brushes and began painting *I was without a clue as to what to do ... except I knew to relax and use my imagination because for me Sundays are about play. It sets me up for my weekly *review and renew exercises that I do afterwards.
That yellow puddle in the middle of the flower reminds me of a secret family recipe for spiked custard & plums. I discovered it once while walking into the kitchen and seeing Mom opening up a can of purpley-pink plums. There was something spurting on the stove. There was another something Mom was trying to hide from me between her and the pile of pots ... and I knew then that I'd walked in on something rather devious by the look in her eyes. It took her a split second, then she decided it'd be best to share.
Have you ever had custard and plums?
Obviously a family secret.
Custard and plums ... I didn't like the sound of it ... but when Mom's letting you in on a secret, you're all eyes and ears. My parents were notorious secret keepers. More about that in other posts. This one's not about that.
I now think the thorny waves along the back of the flower have everything to do with the fact the pudding's spiked? Why else would they be there. There was half a bottle of brandy between Mom and the stove where water was spitting on her over the edge of the half-baked bain marie ...
It was at about this moment she decided to go with the flow and share. I got two bowls out of the cupboard which she fast filled with the sloppy yellow liquid. Tipping the can into bowls half full of the golden gravy, she poured a deep purple puddle of syrup into the middle after which she plopped a couple of plums in ... or maybe more, before pouring a larger dash of brandy on top of her bowl than on mine. And it was damn fine ... in the middle of a Sunday - nobody else was around.
Today's about last Sunday ... about going with the flow and sharing.
Careful - there's pips, she warned.
* poems in red (you're welcome)