Monday, August 4, 2008

Mantra Monday: Walk to the Beat of My Own Drum

Hey everybody when you walk the walk
You gotta back it all up you gotta talk the talk
Hey everybody when I hear the knock
Don't wanna measure out my life to the tick of a clock

I'll be the first to admit, my days are fairly regimented and there's a high level of discipline (and can be somewhat daunting the outsider).

03:00 am: Wake and grab a quick hearty but light bite to eat, go back to sleep for two hours.
05:00 am: Wake, shower, get ready for practice.

05:30 am: iPod on and out door to walk to practice.*
05:45 am: Arrive Shala.
07:15 am: (approx) Finish practice.
07:30 am: Return to apartment, choose shoes, get ready for work.
08:00 am: Walk out apartment and on my way to Metro

09:00 am: Arrive work.
05:30 pm: Leave work.
06:15 pm: Return apartment.
06:45 pm: Dinner.
10:30 pm: Bed.

This is the skeleton of my weekdays, wash, rinse, dry and repeat. Sure, there is a little variation in how the days are dressed, but the base is still there.

Saturday night, sitting in my apartment with some Bach cello suites playing in the background, I called the Artist (who had another successful show this past weekend). We talked for a bit and he noted that I sounded a bit down. Yeah, I've been talking that talk for a bit too long now. I needed to paint something or do something Art related.

Sure. I started a painting at the beginning of July. It's now the beginning of August - had I touched it since that one glorious night?
No. Why?

Pure and simple.

I have been leading a left-brained existence. Six minutes by six minute intervals - it doesn't want to let go. I'm trying to get the right side of my brain functioning again - allowing the existence of a form of self-expression in a manner that I've always found ease, comfort, and solace.

I took action and placed my Dimitri of Paris cd** in my player, put on my scruffy jeans, an old thread-bare t-shirt and took off my shoes. The Artist had given me a bunch of canvas scraps from his work to play with. At the start of Saturday night I didn't even want to touch my painting for "fear of messing it up." Which in and of itself is crazy. Logically, I know that it's my first piece, there's not much hope that it will end up in the Tate or MOMA, let alone grace the walls of a struggling coffee house.

I pulled one strip of canvas from the roll and began to splash paint about. How hard could it be to splash paint about?** Apparently quite hard. But that's only because I can see 29 looming on the horizon and have been bombarded with the notion of what is "good" art and what is "bad" art.

In terms of ending up with something that catered to my clean-line-art-nouveau-modern-
sensual-architectural sensibilities, was I successful? Not in the least.

I did begin to learn how to load paintbrushes properly, how water thins acrylics, the speed at which I need to work, and gain a better understanding of how to mix colors. Result? Highly successful. Especially since I discovered how to mix a color that will prove to be useful in my still life.

I then found myself working on my still-life with out abandon - it still needs some work.
However, it's actually going somewhere.

Saturday night, before I knew it, it was 3:30 in the morning.
Saturday night, before I knew it, it was 3:30 in the morning.

Then suddenly you hear it it's the beat of your heart
And for the first time in your life you know your life is about to start

: Poe, Walk the Walk from Haunted, 2000.

* Keeping pace by the songs on my playlist. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me - U2; Supermassive Black Hole - Muse; Believe - The Bravery; and should be just finishing Mercy - Duffy by the time I'm at the Shala and taking off my shoes.

**One of the 3 cds I played on repeat the during the summer of 1999 during my switch from Bio-Chem to Architecture in college.

*** Aside: The next time you walk into a museum and see a painting and say, "Oh, I could do that!" Try it. I challenge you. It's *a lot* harder than you think. I would also venture that you'd be closer to the truth if you said, "Oh, I couldn't, but a 5 year old could do that!"


alfia said...

It looks wonderful! I could not do anything like that for sure.

I wake up at the same time as you, but I have to be in bed by 9, 9:30 the latest. How do you get on with so little sleep?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your vote of confidence in this endeavor. :)

As for the getting up early going to bed at 10:30 thing. I have no clue - although Sunday nights I find myself turning into a pumpkin around 8pm. :P

Leslie said...

The shading is definitely improved! Glad to see you lose yourself a little in the work. Have fun - no fear!

Anonymous said...

I think it's great!!! I like to draw and I love carbon pencil and pastels, but I'm really afraid of brushes... so I totally understand you being scared! The last photo looks really nice, I love your perspective and the choice of color, it is very organic. Please post it when it's fully finished!

PS As mentioned in my previous posts, I've been leading a bit of a vampire life myself, because of the dancing... though these days I find that 10:30 is becoming my time to go to bed if I don't want to suffer waking at 5:15am...

Anonymous said...

TLL & N, Thx! I think I can push the shading a little bit more this weekend. We'll see...

PS. N, totally with you on that...

Lee Istrail said...

I dig it! The corner and shading draw you in, with good 3-dimensional effect. The green color contrasts well w/ the wall.

I am a believer in late-night artistic creativity. Many of my songs were forged that way.