Posted by: Tina M | 2 December , 2009

a portrait of my mental space

I don’t want to get too heavy and personal on here because that sort of thing tends to make for bad writing, but here’s a compromise.

I finished my painting for my friend, C. We went to Antioch College together and were first year roommates, It turned out that we got along great and were pretty much inseperable for the first three years there. While life has taken us in different directions, I still feel like she is one of my closest friends. The painting was inspired by the phrase “Catch as Catch Can”  which holds a special place in our heart because she used it once in passing and it just seemed to be an uncanny fit for a way to sum up our experience of College and our friendship.  We both got a tattoo of the phrase (I hope you’re body hair positive, because my legs are pretty hairy!)

“Catch as Catch Can” adj.
Using or making do with whatever means are available; irregular: made a catch-as-catch-can living doing odd jobs.

legs The rest of the painting was inspired because of C’s family history that includes a lot of beautiful things like farming, knitting, and raising bees. I think our kindred art spirit made it especially fun to work on this painting and I hope she enjoys it. She challenged me to muted earth tones. . . 

I’ve been reading “Ascending Peculiarity” which is a collection of interviews that Edward Gorey granted various writers and fans. It’s really amazing. I went through a phase where I was reading a lot of biographies of writers and it made me feel like it’s more possible that I might succeed as an artist. Gorey is really inspiring to me because he was radical from the beginning in a genuine way that’s hard to find these days. I think post modernism has ruined us all and no one can be so honest in their quirkiness. But Gorey was the original androgynous bear! I don’t know how I missed it, but of COURSE I would be a fan.  I’ll compile the quotes that I love at a later time, but right now I’m trying to see if he might influence my own illustration. Not in the way that I’m going to lift his crosshatching AND his victorian tones.  I think there’s just something freeing about his brevity and simplicity. I think it makes it feel possible where I think I’ve been psyching myself out before I give it a real try. So- To Edward Gorey, Thanks for being an inspiration.

And as for my alter ego, the not-for-profit/health educator/jack.of.all.trades, I am tired. And hopefully this is the moment where it pushes me to step up as a leader, delegator, and truth teller. We’ll see. For now I need to pull myself away from the new Bravo TV show “Chef Academy.” It’s an absolute train-wreck reality cooking show where it’s a school and if they fail cooking tests they get kicked out. It’s amazing because you get to learn culinary tips, watch the human drama of being humbled by learning new things and having to reproduce the techniques. The chef has a bitchy quality like Simon Cowell, but instead of it being motivated out of catiness, it’s motivated by his love of cooking and his expectations of excellence. He’s honest and at times break hearts, and at other times makes folks feel like they’re better chefs than him. It’s beautiful.  .  . Ok, on second thought they make him out to be a douche by tongue in cheek making fun of him being french. He went on and on about how much he loved Columbo (which makes him seem both simple minded and out of date), and just now they focused on his temper tantrum about a broken juicer.

Decide for yourself.


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