The other day, when I was PLAYING, and in a minute I will tell you with what, I was thinking about all the things I wanted to be when I grew up. As most children, I dreamt of being many things, but my first recollection, living in wild, rural country where the nearest neighbor lived miles away and most daily interaction involved rabbits and birds, snakes and lizards, horses and dogs, and a barn full of animals – naturally I wanted to be a veterinarian. I think it’s a common choice among children. Maybe we relate to animals better than our parents or siblings. My father had built my brother and I the most fantastical tree fort and it was there that I whiled away the hours – writing, drawing, painting, and studying bugs and plants.
I had two toys that meant the world to me. One was a wood burning set where for hours I would burn images into the floor of the tree fort. My second and probably most important and cathartic toy, was a microscope. It wasn’t an expensive, real lab microscope, just a toy kit that came equipped with slides, labels, vials, stains, tweezers and tools, That microscope literally blew the doors off my mind. I was not only able to watch and study a bug eating and digesting, but the colorful fractal images of a single blade of grass or flower petal put me in Wonderland. I soon promoted myself from veterinarian to zoologist/biologist. Gawd, I loved that microscope.
And then suddenly, in an instant – everything stopped. I didn’t write or draw or play with my microscope anymore. I moved – into a very small shadow, in the corner of my mind and there I remained for what seemed like an eternity. Why is of no importance here, but suffice to say, there’s a part of me that is very comfortable being alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love interacting with everything around me, including people, but I love my space and as someone stated years ago “you’re your own best friend”.
And then, as suddenly as it had stopped, at the age of eighteen, it all began again. It was as though I had boarded a spaceship and transported myself to another realm. Once again there was fun, wonderment, excitement, ambition and something new. There was CHOICE? I’d never had ‘choice’ before. It’s one of the most important, powerful and maybe distinct elements of human nature. However, even though the choices were now mine to make, for someone that had led such an early sheltered life, it was a new concept. I didn’t live in the forest anymore, my school chemistry and math grades weren’t exactly conducive to perusing biology and more importantly there were so many choices to make, so many directions to go that I was somewhat overwhelmed. Therefore, I simply allowed myself to take a few hands and let the cards fall wherever my spirit’s interests led – which was EVERYWHERE. Whatever it was, it was new, fresh, exciting and sometimes very frightening, but once I got going it was like I’d found a map with paths and knew where all the treasures lay. And if you’re lucky enough to find the treasure (actually, luck has nothing to do with it) you attain even more opportunity and responsibility. It’s a never-ending cycle. Throw in some entropy – a little chaos and disorder and again – you need to make another choice. Gotta love it. Keeps it fresh.
And here I am, right now, under a tree. I’m under a tree PLAYING with MY NEW TOY! Yes, I have a new microscope and it’s taken me right back to that old tree fort. Right now, I am laying on my stomach in the grass, with the bees, the ants, and those little bugs that when you touch them, roll up into tight little balls - and I’m eye to scope marveling the intricate fractal design of a single mosquito wing. Amazing. I wish I had a camera that connected to the scope. Wish list.
In short, it’s been a whirlwind of a month and I played hard. No time to miss BPI. The email dings a little less and if my phone rings, I may talk to another ‘live’ person. Being an Artist generally means spending great deals of time alone. I don’t mean lonely, I mean peaceful, cerebral solitude – just me, my toys, my thoughts.
My internal clock has me rising late morning and retiring in the wee hours of the next. I get to blast tunes through the day, play with an entirely different late night social crowd and go to bed with Jimmy Fallon. I go to bed tired and wake up with the refreshed enthusiasm of whatever the new day will bring.
And BRING IT it is! Mid month I received a call from the Humane Society for a Petscape commission - their long term shelter cat Emma. She’s been a fun journey and I will be presenting her back to the Humane Society next week. I had wanted to go encaustic with this piece, but with all the rain, it morphed wonderfully into gold leaf and oils. I will show you when finished.
Last week the charming Louis, owner and sommelier of PaneVino, our local and very fine dining and toocoolwinebar establishment granted me a WALL. I’ve hung eight pieces of art. They are up until August, and if you’re passing thru Lindsay, come to CJ’s Gallery first, I’ll give you the nickel tour, before heading to PaneVino for a glass.
Back to my toys. I wonder what this paint chip looks like under the microscope?
Keep on playing everyone!