Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lately I have been curious about a certain phenomenon. The past couple of weeks I have been more busy than usual. Things seem to pile up in unexpected places along with catching up with friends and somewhere in between I find the only way to make up for lost time is to lose sleep. This obviously takes effect in ways I expect: hitting the snooze button more than twice, feeling an afternoon lull, and the need for caffeine more than just the morning jolt. Recently, however, my lack of z's has taken an unexpected turn. It has made me measure the preciousness of time in a whole new way.

Timing is everything. This is not new. I was recently talking with an older friend of mine and she said that time flies by as you get older because you have less time left. I, however, like to think it is as more of a side effect of maturity and a lesson I keep learning over and over again. I do not appreciate the time to do the odds and ends of things unless I don't have anytime to do them. Why is this? Why has the constructs of time begun to weigh down my thinking and my doing? I know I am not alone. Every time I interact with someone, there is a reflection of how much time one has, where are they going, and what are they doing to keep busy in the meantime. Time is measured by the quality and the quantity of how it is spent with the time allotted or even earned. Perhaps that could be a whole new measure of success? Thinking about it makes my head spin. Quite frankly, it's exhausting and I'm tired of it in a whole different way than I will ever be before my morning brew.

Monday, September 29, 2008

we need a little seasoning

One of my favorite things about the Midwest are the defined seasons. Summer is humid and sultry, fall is crisp and colorful, winter is frigid and frightening, and spring is usually rainy. They all bring the promises of what is to follow. It seems as though just about the time we start enjoying the weather or the state of life we are in, it changes, and something new is on the radar. Or in many cases we just trudge through a season with the hope of another. We expect the seasons to change, this season, however, is different.

Summer seems to be lingering on. The 80 degree, sunshine filled days are still rising, but I am noticing that it reflects upon my desire to look ahead, make different plans and make new memories. While the humidity trickles in so does my lack of enthusiasum to move on to fall. As I am still sleeping with a fan whisping in the background, I wonder when I will start wearing sweaters and close-toed shoes. It has been a long, and for many, hard summer. I am grateful for my warm-weather days, but I want to see colors on the trees and I want to see a change. I want to see a change more than with just the weather, I want to experience a change of place, change of political jargon, or maybe I just miss having warm soup and tea.Perhaps we expect and want the seasons to change because we are constantly changing ourselves and it is a little easier to do if we are able to alter our wardrobe.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

wonder watch four: shades of orange

I seem to be noticing things about hair lately. I live not only by a beauty school, but also a hair salon that prides itself on the experimental use of colors and crazy cutting. Customers go in with normal locks and come out looking as though they have been attacked with a neon highlighter. I passed a guy with what appeared to be shades of Bert and Ernie's skin from Sesame on top of his head the other day. Sometimes it looks really cool and I wish I had enough gumption to be so bold, other times, however, it is not so successful.

It has made me question why we chose to alter our hair at all. There are so many products. Both men and women can become obsessed with the change, loss, and appearance of hair. Don't get me wrong, I have been known to be particular about my hair, I get it cut and fancy a drastic change every now and then. Maybe it is nature's built in way to express oneself. It is one of the easiest things to change, although it can be risky and at times very costly. Maybe if we start to measure hair on expressiveness rather than shininess, silkiness, or overall wonderfulness the world would work differently. One thing is for sure, there would be a lot more shades of electric orange, green, pink and hopefully purple.

The adjoining drawing is titled, wonder woman three (2008), and is drawn with charcoal and conte crayon.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

wonder watch three: heads up

Today there is a strange chill in the air. The gloominess along with the damp air is the tell-tale sign that fall is certainly around the corner. I will be looking forward to the vibrant colors, soup, and cooler air, but there is much more to see. I learned that more than ever today while walking on Market Street.

Nearby my house there is a beauty school in which students come and go from curling, straightening, dying, waxing and who knows what else. As a perfume of hairspray follows each student they are easy to pick out as they are usually all dressed in black with a logo of the school on their lapel. Today I was walking behind two students and not thinking twice, until I noticed a unique silhouette creeping away from their arms. At first I thought they both had identical, brown, curly mini-shitsus, but as I looked closer, my eyes squinted and my mouth ajar I realized that the two women were each carrying a head as a companion. For a millisecond it appeared as some sadistic oddity on the neighborhood street, but breathing a sigh of relief, I rationally realized the heads were homework. So while smiling to myself and watching the women walk and chatting together I thought it was a giggle-worthy moment. What kept me chuckling though is the thought of how these heads were practice for the real deal - women and men who want to make themselves up, cut their hair, get a perm, and color a new self.

Practicing on a mannequin is logical, but it also demonstrates how replaceable humans' heads and bodies can inevitably become. What does remain is the influence a head or body makes. Even the fake heads hold an influence as they are practice that affects the performance on the actual person. It also speaks a sacredness of the human image. We see it everyday, it has been depicted for in art for centuries, and although at times absurd, the representation is always meaningful.

The image below is "Q-tip head" and is made with charcoal, gesso, and pastel.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

wonder watch two - stillness of leaves

I like walking to work. Some might view it as a waste of time, but walking to work somehow gets my blood pumping and mind ticking before I have to talk to anybody. I have come to love my journey to work. The sights are predictable, but always changing. Currently there is a green vibrancy in the oak trees that line my path. They are so massive. We have greeted one another through some very cold, very wet, very hot, very windy days. They are wonderful walking companions.

A couple of days ago, however, while looking up at the green giants the stillness and quietness of the leaves was overwhelming. The glowing summer light shining through the shapes made by the overlapping leaves made me continue to look up in amazement. To reproduce such a sight in a photograph or artwork would be futile. Even more striking was the peacefulness of the leaves next to the hustle and bustle of the street beside me. People rushing to work, stereos blasting, lights changing, but the leaves and trees stood standing guard to all of it. I am glad I noticed the shining stillness of the trees because it gave me something else to look forward to in the summer and something else to admire in the sky.

The above image titled, "Mirror Image" is an intaglio and foil print.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

wonder watch one - musicians' mugs

Faces are familiar, we look at them everyday, sometimes they are friendly, sometimes not. Sometimes they repulse and other times they can make knees grow weak. They can even get very close without us flinching. I recently became aware at the facial dexterity of musicians while listening to a live blues jam. A guitarist first caught my eye as he sang a somewhat multifarious version of "Supersitious." This particular face was entrenched in his playing. His face was twisting and contorting in a somewhat strange manner conveying pleasure and pain all at the same time. I thought to myself that I would want to play guitar for the sole permission to make all those powerful faces in a thirty-second stitch. No one found it odd or uncomfortable that at one moment it appeared he was having a climax and the next a hernia. He wasn't the only one either, the drummer, the vocalist, and the bassist all joined the face-play bandwagon.

The situation provided a microcosmic demonstration of not only why people play music, but also why people like to watch. The direct display and creation of passion is what many love to demonstrate and what some can only observe. When one is passionate things occur that the the doer, sayer, maker is unaware of, hence the myriad of expressions of the musicians' mugs. The guitarist displayed that in the midst of playing, the full range of emotion and enjoyment was felt. This can be applied to any field. The finding of such a place of pleasure and pain that leads to passion is a wonder worth wanting.
The above image is a pair of faces titled "Mom and Pop", Monoprint, 2007
It is made with foil and screening techniques.