Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spatial Cadet ...

I am a very visual person.

I have proof.

Some people are very right-brained. Some people are very left-brained. I am both. Which can either be taken as an aspect of me that's fascinating or as further proof that I can't commit to one thing.

Of the two options, I like the former.

I write, and I love to write. And I sing, and I love to sing.

But yesterday, half of my brain said, "Let's create something!"

And the other half, which is my bored-child-on-summer-vacation half, replied, "Yeah, but what?"

And the creative half, the right half, which in the moment was like a tween hopped up on sugar, said, "Paint!"


Now, y'all know I love to paint rooms in my house.

But that's not what my brain was saying.

My brain wanted to paint. Like a painter. On a canvas – a large canvas – with brushes and a couple of tubes of color. My brain wanted to create art for over the loveseat in my living room to replace the photograph that my spatial brain recently realized was out of scale. In relation to the loveseat, it's fine. In relation to the whole wall, it's wee.

Well, I didn't go buy a canvas and brushes and paint. And I don't know how I'd paint a large canvas, anyway. On the floor, perhaps. Because I don't own a large easel. (I do own a small easel. Have you ever bought an easel? Damn. Money.) And I figured I'd need something bigger than my car to transport the size canvas I wanted to buy.

So I nixed the painting idea for the day. And I wrote instead.

Now, I do not fancy myself a writer of fiction. I have great respect for those who do, but I do not include myself among them.

Well, I don't. Left-brained Beth doesn't. Right-brained Beth might have other ideas, because a couple of weeks ago, an idea popped into my head and I started writing – typing, clacking – and I liked what came out.

So yesterday, I revisited the bit that I'd written and wrote more. And revised. And read. And you know what? It's pretty good, even by the standards I set for myself. And if a short novel is about 300 pages, well, then, I only have 298 1/2 pages to go.

Still, it left me wanting more. It was creativity, but I didn't crave writing yesterday. I craved creating. With my hands. Painting. Sculpting. (Hello? Beth? You don't sculpt.) Not baking, though dough is an artful medium. It was too hot to bake.

And this morning, the impulse hadn't gone away. I busied my hands. I made my bed. I washed my dishes. But they still want to do something more.

For a while, I stared at the wall above my loveseat, envisioning what I want to see hanging there. I know the predominant color. Very saturated. Odd, for me. I may be leaving beige behind at last. But within the field, I'm not sure. It won't be intricate. We're not talkin' Seurat. It will be more modern, but not this, because, I mean, stop it. It will be more like Pollock before he broke through. I've always loved the mural he created for Peggy Guggenheim.

Mind you, I don't flatter myself. I know I am not a painter, so it is absurd to cite the likes of Seurat and Pollock here.

But I've always created the pictures in my mind. So when my staring at the wall gives way to a vision, that's what I'll paint.

For now, I have my stack of art and design books around me. For now, pictures will do.

Update: I ran an errand, both out of necessity and to get away from staring at the wall. On the way home, my right brain said, "Ooh! Don't you have colored pencils? You can draw something, at least!"

My left brain said, again (perhaps it's a disaffected teenager), "Yeah, but what?"

My right brain said, "A bird!"

A bird?

OK. Whatever. A bird.

So when I got home, I rummaged through my bin of craft stuff that I keep on hand in case any kids drop by or in case my nephews and niece suddenly find themselves young again, and indeed, I had a box of colored pencils, just a few colors, but enough.

And I sat down with my sketchbook and my right brain said, "A silly bird!"

OK. Fine. A silly bird.

So I drew the first little plume. And then I drew a bit more and penciled in a beak – I knew he would be smiling – and added his eye and then my right brain said, "OK, we're done!"

We're done?

My right brain likes his cute little bird face and has no interest in figuring out the rest of his little bird body.

And I wonder why I never finish anything?

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you
Partial-Headed Bird No. 1. To be funny. Because I think artists who number their work are stuffy and because I know full well that there will never be a Partial-Headed Bird No. 2.


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