A Reptilian Monkey Pile
"Yertle, Myrtle and Bob" - acrylic on reclaimed wood, 24" x 24". Ready to hang. Making its public debut at Ciel Gallery in June. Inquiries: email@example.com
I am a bonafide klutz. As graceful as a mastodon, as elegant as a toad. I once took out the light fixture and signage at hardware store checkout while returning a set of blinds. I have tripped over the mere thought of my own feet, without the actual feet. The older I get, the more I have a real sense for when I am going to have a clumsy day. Monday was one of them. I was awkward from the moment I woke up, so I gave myself a little talk about being extra careful out in the world. And I went out in the world safely and came home intact. Until I punctured my finger with a screwdriver in an art hardware accident that left me faint with pain, on my back with my legs elevated trying not to pass out while I stopped the bleeding.
So when I reached the last chapter in Rutenberg's Clear Seeing Place, I chuckled at the title: Feel Your Own Pain. Ha! Does Brian Rutenberg have a hidden camera in my studio? The universe, it seems, has a weird sense of humor.
I am, of course, painting anyway. Bandaged finger held aloft like a high tea pinky (except it is my middle finger, so it isn't quite as charming) I am bound and determined to keep at it. Rutenberg's words echo in my mind even as Prince dances out of my wireless speakers in the studio: "If you reach one person, then you've made the earth a better place. Don't be afraid to make bad paintings. Die a little death now and then; you'll be okay." Death by errant screwdriver was not what he meant, I suspect.
This piece, including Bob (the turtle on the bottom of the stack), was painted over the weekend. 90% of it was painted with my own hands - no brushes, scrapers or paper towels. In hindsight, perhaps that was a bit of foreshadowing, as holding the brush now is quite challenging. But being part of an awkward reptilian monkey pile seems quite appropriate for the day, and if Bob can keep his sense of humor, so can I.
5/10/2017 07:26:00 pm
Jen, I love your painting, I love your writing, I love that you paint on reclaimed wood. And I am fascinated—a monkey pile of turtles? 90% painted with bare hands? Wow! So much personality in these critters. My reptilian brain says hello.
5/10/2017 07:33:24 pm
dear Dotty, you make me feel SO good about what I create! Thank you, sweet lady. :)
5/10/2017 07:48:30 pm
Our turtles used to do the same thing in an indoor aquarium where the top dude would literally be quite close to the warmth of the light in the tank; that's how I came to deduce that they were similarly seeking the closest spot to the sun when outdoors!
5/10/2017 08:00:58 pm
You taught me something wonderful about turtles! Thanks, Dotty!
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