December 1, 2005

Don't Mix the Colors, I Like Them That Way: The Danger of Art Supplies

One of the weirder side effects of this year's incessant awfulness has been a notable uptick in my craftiness quotient.

I always liked doing art, but I was never particularly good at it; I'm very uncoordinated and just can't make the pen/pencil/paintbrush/etc move in the right way to make the line/shape/etc I'm seeing in my head. So since the end of high school, I've more or less stuck with doing design on computers; I'm not a genius there, either, but on a computer the gap between talent and diligently acquired skill is much narrower. I can fake it more easily.

But being messed up has made me dissatisfied with that alone. Ever since the roommate art night in September, I've been on a hands-on craftiness bender, and the casualties are mounting.

Below are badly photographed (not false modesty, I really didn't bother to photograph them properly, it would take longer than they're worth) paintings I have made, each taking anywhere from 20 minutes to three. whole. hours. Oh yes, my artistic devotion, it rivals the masters.

These are by no means all of them. Maybe half or three fifths. These tiny things are littering my apartment. I can't believe my roommates haven't maced me yet, or made me eat my oil paints. Instead, they joke about my new hobby and make kind noises about the rectangles they find drying on the bricks outside our door.

As oil painting was the absolute nadir of my high school art classes--I could NOT make it work--I don't know why I find it so calming now. But it is; the simple process of moving the brush over the canvas is immensely soothing, and then (several days of drying later) I have a block of color to throw on the wall.

And, yes, they're all pretty much blocks of (sometimes iridescent) color, except where I threw in scraps of a photo or some plastics I got for about a buck at this neato shop on Canal St. The exception is the horse I tried to paint for my roommate's birthday (she wanted a pony, and since we can't keep a real one in the apt., I tried to paint her one), which I think will make eminently clear why I stick with abstract painting. I SUCK AT REPRESENTATIONAL ART. At least with swirls and grains the viewer doesn't know how off I was from what I intended.

Aaaand I'm still messing around with Photoshop. I sat down to crop a photo of myself to update my Friendster page and, the moment I opened the file, I immediately began fucking with it instead of just correcting levels and shrinking it like non-spastic people do. Still haven't updated my profile! But I have a pleasantly odd photo:

December 31, 2005

Cakemania victory!

I won! I won! I more than salvaged the sugar project. I learned from this morning's green experiment and tried again, this time in amber and this time actually trying to make the pull shapes. I was even able to make one with pulls on both ends that wrapped around the cake (see 9 o'clock on the photo below and the piece overlapping it--they're really the same). Fuck yeah! Looks like stained glass, burns like stained glass if mishandled, but oh, much better results when you eat it.

It was all I could do not to start punching into the air, screaming, "IN YOUR FACE!!!"

But I managed.