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.