Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ant wings

I'm not painting today. Yesterday didn't paint either. Yesterday wrote a letter to River Gallery Art School requesting a partial scholarship for an adult studio class this spring semester. The semester starts Feb.2. The price of the class is $410 and I asked if we could pay half. I forgot to say that we spend a lot of money on my medication and medical bills. So I don't know if I made the strongest of all possible cases for scholarship. I mailed the letter in a big manila envelope, so it didn't have to fold, and with it I mailed three pictures of my latest artworks. I figure, perhaps they would be impressed by my commitment to making art. Perhaps a picture will express more than words can ever say.

I walked to the post office, mailed my envelope, and then came home and worked out on the treadmill. Did an hour and 15 minutes work-out with 25 minutes of that at jogging speed. Have older, weaker legs than ever before and am careful about not injuring them. The goal is to get up to an hour jog. That should keep me fit. When I paint I sit down. During the winter I read, draw, go on the computer, eat, and watch television all in bed. Most of my time is spent in bed. Right now, as I write this I am in bed. During the winter the bedroom is the only room of the apartment that is comfortably heated. It is a small room. I don't think my sanity suffers. But I don't know.

Last night, after a day with two major accomplishments, the letter made and mailed and a workout, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I mean I lay in bed, saying nothing, doing nothing, not ready for sleep, depleted to the core. With my illness, after success, there is usually a price to pay. The bed is where I am sick. It is where I go when my thoughts are thin, on the verge of cracking, where I have no motivation, no obligations, no desires, no abilities left, then there is the bed to retreat to. I think that the bed is the center of my universe, the center of home. Because this room is warm there are usually two cats curled on the bed and the dog buried half beneath. They give the room some heart, as well as the artwork on the walls.

Why not paint today? I think that I lack enthusiasm for my latest painting. I'm in a spot where I have to do something difficult, and I can't quite imagine how to do it. With this flying ant I had the challenge of painting wings. Wings are flat, and these wings in particular were difficult to manage because they are supposed to be iridescent and transparent. I have no schooling in tricks of how to paint iridescent and transparent. I had to make up a method. I don't know how well I succeeded. But elsewhere in this same painting, what is to be painted next is a pair of butterfly wings. They already have one undercoating of paint, and boy, don't they look flat. Which is, of course, exactly what butterfly wings are, flat. Oh the boredom with flat! I put off painting the wings until tomorrow. Which is what I did yesterday as well. I think tomorrow is the day of reckoning. I'm going to paint and damn the consequences. Anything will look better than the undercoating of paint. I'm just right now feeling helpless and lost. Paralyzed by a pair of butterfly wings.

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