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Monday, February 27, 2006

How to Express Yourself in Drawing

Pythagoras, the little white dog from next door that annoys me so much, seems to be disliked by his owners even more. In the sub-freezing temperatures of late, he's been cast outside rather a lot, and knowing that I'm the sensitive artist type he chooses to shiver on my back step not his owners. Weak-willed I let him in. Mistake.

Didn't you love it when you were a kid and drew pictures in the soil with a stick? Or used a magnifying glass to burn pictures in wood? Or set fire to polythene bags so you could drip their rapidly flaming drops onto something to make a picture? And then you grew up and you were supposed to stop.

Well it's all drawing. Making a mark is drawing. Banging a stick off railings that leaves little marks on each one is drawing. Throwing stones in a pond is drawing - bothe the concentric circles of the water, and even the arc of the trajectory of your throw. Making a mark is drawing.

Pythagoras drew when he came into my house. Clearly with an itchy backside, he waddled around on the carpet - a beige colored carpet so popular here in the exciting Midwest. And Pythagoras made his mark. Now I know what we're supposed to do with our thumbs when dogs have problems with their anal sacs, but this is somebody else's dog. And hey, they're my thumbs. So I arrived a different solution. An artistic solution for an artistic problem.

From my box of vinyl LP's - remember them? - I took out a Madonna album that I'm sure I never bought. And I played it for Pythagoras. Express Yourself.

Paul Dorrell says:

Treat all of these clients well, regardless of their monetary status. They'll appreciate that, and will express the appreciation by buying more work, and by sending friends and relatives who will do the same.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Free Book for Bloggers

NOTE: On March 3, 2006 this offer was expanded to apply worldwide!

250 copies of Living the Artist's Life are being given to bloggers for free it has been announced today by the publishers. And there are no particular requirements beyond simply being a blogger!

On the author Paul Dorrell's blog there is a statement from Hillstead Publishing saying where to send your email and details of your blog:
Free Book for Bloggers

I wonder if I should get another copy.

Paul Dorrell says

all I wanted to do was achieve new goals, write new books, and start giving back to the society that had made my success possible


Monday, February 13, 2006

St. Valentine's Day Tip in 21 Steps

Forgot to get a Valentine card? Don't want to give money to card companies? Think the celebration of Valentine's day is stupid? And yet you don't want to fall out with your other half? Let Hannibal Lecter show you how to keep your self-respect whilst treating the special person in your life as, well, special.

Not far behind Picasso as an artistic influence for me, comes Jonathan Demme's presentation of the celebrated cannibal.

Here then, so influenced, is the St. Valentine's Day 21-step solution for an artist to love the artist's lover whilst living the artist's life:

  1. Watch Silence of the Lambs

  2. Study the scene where Lecter escapes

  3. Note the distracting impact of hanging disembowelled victim with entrails as decoration

  4. Become Hannibal Lecter, artistically speaking.

  5. Inform your life's partner that Valentine's Day is dumb, that you don't believe in it, and that you will not be giving a card for it.

  6. If still part of a couple, wait for your partner to go to bed

  7. Cut out 250 hearts of different sizes. Cut them from newspapers, not from people

  8. Make some of the Valentines liver-shaped, kidney-shaped and the shapes of some of your favorite organs. Blind love does not distinguish between painted paper organs

  9. Think of blood and paint the hearts cadmium red. The newsprint will absorb the paint and they will fade to pink. Use cheap poster paints or acrylics. Paint the hearts roughly - they will appear very painterly.

  10. Attach the painted valentines to strings vertically, with about ten hearts per string

  11. Hang six strings of hearts from the ceiling just outside your better half's bedroom door. Put them in two rows of three

  12. Hang nine strings of valentines in the main living area between the bedroom and the coffeepot. Hang them diagonally as if setting a laser beam alarm system. Optionally leave love gates for easy passage

  13. Hang four strings of hearts in the bathroom in front of the mirror, and in the way of the toilet and shower

  14. Drape the final six strings of hearts over your partner's car

  15. Do not buy Valentine card

  16. Do not wash paint off hands

  17. Go to bed

  18. In the morning apologize to your loved one for not getting a card

  19. Thank the person you love for the Valentine card they bought you

  20. Remove bloodied entrails from your face

  21. Wash hands, and resume a normal life

Paul Dorrell says that

knowing when to show your work does not necessarily mean showing in a gallery.


Friday, January 06, 2006

How To Paint Your Partner?

In such extreme need of consuming scrambled eggs that I had a headache, I stopped off for milk. This being America, I purchased a gallon.

As ususal it was unseasonable, this time unseasonably cold. On foot I walked over snow and ice for an hour. I did this to get to a store where I might look at all manner of non-essential retail products at knockdown prices. And I did it to feel human. But still my head ached.

On the walk back I came to a Convenience Store conviently located at a Gas Station. I may well live in the west of the midwest, but as I placed the gallon of milk on the counter it was the first time in my life that I was called 'partner'.

-Is that all for you, partner?
-Yes, thank you
-Well this don't seem like the kind of place a man would come just to get milk.
-It's on the way, I apologized
-You on foot partner?
-I surely am, I replied getting into the swing of things, for I surely was.

Now, how do I paint that?

Paul Dorrell says:

success for my artists and me was arduous, demanding, despair-ridden, and constantly threatened with financial disaster. At the same time, walking that path has been one of the most rewarding achievements of a life that already was very full


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

9 Things I've Painted The Most

Love, life, death, pain. They all drive me to paint. But ultimately you just paint because you can't not. That's why. However, what is it, that you paint? And are you honest about why themes recur? Really? This is what I paint:

  1. The Woman I Love These paintings are unfocused, abstracted, and she'd never know. Unless she's so intuitive that she knows every time you paint an apple you're painting her - in which case I love her more.

  2. Boxes Containers are under-rated. I believe ultimately that our little Universe is in somebody's box somewhere in the back of a wardrobe, forgotten about.

  3. Feet Don't you love falling down on a busy street pretending you're hurt just so you can look at all the passing shoes? And boots. Don't you?

  4. Stripes Like boxes only two-dimensional. And missing the ends. And yes my stripes are different to Newmans's and to Scully's. My stripes go all the way to eleven.

  5. Leaves When attached to a plant and still alive that is. I love that they're living and moving, just like a person - only better at staying still. And usually prettier.

  6. Symbols Mostly those used in Mathematics. The best part is not knowing or recognising any symbol but composing the overall pattern as if it were music - when it's really 7.63 recurring.

  7. Memories Because there isn't a cure for dementia or Alzheimer's yet. And because cameras always get it wrong. Especially about love. And apples.

  8. Blobs Like stripes but more independent, yet lacking in direction. And they usually hang out in groups.

  9. The Woman Who Thinks I love Her Because I'm a man. And if she's prepared to think that every time I paint a pineapple I'm really painting her, well, she's mad quite frankly, it's actually only blobs. And stripes.

Paul Dorrell says:

I know my subject, and I'd like to impart some of that knowledge to you


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

King Kong

So Kong is finally here. The fourth part in The Lord of the Rings trilogy finally arrives, and it's pun festival time.

Here then, in the Wet Can Dreams tradition of reverse order, is the build-up and arrival of King Kong, as seen through the headlines of the world.

So Why All The Fuss?

REVIEW: It turns out Peter Jackson's "King Kong" actually IS the Eighth Wonder of the World

Giant ape, gay cowboys likely to show up on Oscar's guest list

Does It Make An Impact?

'Kong' is a rare find
King Kong Is Way Long
'Kong' - a spectacular with a huge heart

He's got us all in his grip
Review: 'King Kong' a giant pleasure
Overindulgent remake proves to be an exercise in sensory assault

King Kong delivers killer punch
Kong a king-size hit
Truly spectacular

Great ape, fumbled movie
A thundering triumph
Great ape Kongquered

Girl meets gorilla in big, hairy mess of a movie.
King Kong remake'magnificent'
Real grandeur: Kong and his queen

An 8,000lb gorilla of a film
'Kong' is tower of strength
Beasts could break film industry out of financial zoo

The Story of Peter (And The Ape)

Jackson To Take Time Off
Lord of the flicks
Peter Jackson: 'Tis Good To Be The King

Against all the odds Peter Jackson's period remake of King Kong is a huge success
King-size expectations for Jackson's 'Kong'
Tens of thousands expected to welcome Jackson at premiere

Monkey off his back
Fan Jackson apes a classic
Can 'Kong' Make Peter Jackson King Again?

Jackson fulfils Kong remake dream
Peter Jackson so blown away by original he makes spectacular update
‘Kong’ most daring risk for Jackson yet
Creator of King Kong always lived on the edge

A passion for primates
It's the film of his dreams
Boyhood passion for the great ape fuels director Jackson's 'King Kong'
1933 classic had colossal effect on director Jackson

Wonder If It'll Make Any Money?

Kong outroaring Narnia's lion king
Will Kong steal the lion’s share?
Skull Island to Mana Island for ship

King Kong boat could become dive attraction
It's monkey business
Ape movie merchandising could make a monkey’s head spin

King Kong Gets First Outdoor Screening on Waiheke
U goes ape with DVD set
Life-sized King Kong Shadows Times Square

You'll go ape over game be it playing Brody or Kong
Peter Jackson’s Kong Production Diaries hit DVD on Dec. 13th
A monster marketing campaign for 'Kong'

King Kong Is Time Magazine's Person of the Year

So What's It Like Then?

Jackson's King Kong greatest "Beauty and the Beast" movie ever
'King Kong' again has Hollywood going ape over primates

NY critics go bananas over 'Kong' remake
Peter Jackson has all the answers for fans of 'King Kong'
Movie fans still go ape for Kong

New 'King Kong' is a blast
Zoo goes wild for King Kong blockbuster

Ah, You're Back Then?

'King Kong': Rousing return of the king ape
Crown 'Kong' king
Kong's Comeback

Kong is King again!
Return of the king

New York mayor declares King Kong Day
"Kong": King of Big Apple
King Kong returns to New York City
Can 'King Kong' pull off the ultimate comeback?

He Never Wrote, He Never Phoned

Kong is 'the ultimate man'
Creature features the places to find today's film hunks

Sexy beast
Ape and essence
A Giant Ape, A Sultry Blonde

The monkey's uncles
Animal attraction

But What Kind Of Ape Is He Really?

He's more than a big, bad gorilla
Why King Kong will make you cry

Monster for the moment... Ape for the ages
New 'King Kong' cuddly, but still a fierce gorilla
This ’Kong’ not king of the jungle

King of emotion
Aping a classic
Monkeying around with 'Kong'

We've Been Waiting For You

King Kong, it's been too long
Kong' could be very, very big

'King Kong's' Timeless Tale
Gorilla in her midst
Giant gorilla in our midst

It's The Blue Screen Wonder

He's not just an ape, he's an actor
Andy Serkis as King Kong
Serkis makes King Kong as real as possible

Life imitates art as 'King Kong' star meets jealous gorilla
Dukes' Gollum apes it up as King Kong

Isn't That Your Man Who Won The Oscar?

Adrien Brody Takes Diamond Keepsake From 'King Kong' Set
Adrien takes the lead

Jack is the new Black

Jack Black's Kong pressure
Kong "a sweet gig'' says star Jack Black
The King of skulduggery

King Kong role a real scream for Black
Jack's role of a lifetime
King Kong: Jack in Black
Black is the new Black

Jack Black: Monkey business
Black runs his way into the '30s for `King Kong'
Jack Black as Carl Denham in King Kong
Big role ... Jack Black stars in King Kong

Naomi Watts

Watts' star finally shines in King Kong
Naomi Watts Stuns Premiere Crowd
Watts realised height fear on 'King Kong'

'Kingkong' made Naomi Watts realize that she had acrophobia
Gutsy Naomi faced fears
Watts fell for 'King Kong
Watts monkeys around with 'Kong'

For Watts, action movies are injurious to health!
Naomi Watts Ascends in 'King Kong'
"Kong" actress climbs to top

'King Kong' actress among honorees
Damsel in Distress, No
Naomi Watts stars as actress Ann Darrow in "King Kong"

Naomi Watts takes over for Fay Wray
Opposites Attract: Naomi Watts and Kong
King Kong's Beauty, Naomi Watts

Didn't They Make This Before?

Remakes don't get any better than 'King Kong'
The original 'Kong' pulled in profits -- at 15 cents a ticket
A remake fit for a 'King'

New Kong film has old love story, new technology
A chimp off the old block
New technology for new Kong

King Kong, from Cooper to Jackson
Kong keeps faith with original

'Kong' builds on original while staying true to soul
Kong on even keel after '70s blowout
King Kong visits big screen for third time

Knock Knock

Ding Dong! King Kong
The birth of 'Kong'

King Kong

Paul Dorrell says:

I warn you though, be leery of that beast if you let it in the door


Sunday, December 04, 2005

They Burn Goats in Sweden, Don't They?

So the Gävle Goat has burned again. Why?

The burning of a great log during the winter solstice is an ancient custom that many believe began with the Norsemen, and was carried over to the Christian celebration of Christmas. The word yule is thought to derive from the Norse word hweol, which means wheel and refers to the great wheel of the sun in its yearly cycle. But a Goat? Bear with me. I'll even show you a webcam.

Yule Log

The Yule log was usually a whole tree trunk or part of the root of a large oak or ash tree. It had to be big enough to burn for the Twelve Days of Christmas and still have a small piece left over with which to kindle the following year's log. An old Norse belief was that each spark from the Yule log represented a new chicken, pig, lamb, goat, or calf to be born in the coming year. See, we're at least talking goats now.

Yule Tree

Eventually, the tradition of the burning of the Yule log was replaced with the Yule Tree. Decorating the tree was a custom introduced from Germany into Scandinavia during the nineteenth century. Initially the tree was decorated with burning candles. And most ancient references to Yule trees had them upside down. You might not want to try this at home despite the obvious aesthetic improvement.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Naturally elctricity came in and the candles went out. And on Christmas Eve, parents in Swedish families decorate the Christmas tree behind closed doors as a surprise for the children. Decorations are usually simple; the most popular are straw goats and pigs. So now we have goats of straw. But why you ask? And is it art?

Yule Goat

Well the "Julbukk" (Yule goat) used to be the carrier of the God Thor (or Thunor). Now the Yule goat is older and carries the elf - who is much lighter than the God of Thunder. But the Elf does have the presents with him for delivering. This Yule elf is called Jultomten in Sweden, Julesvenn in Norway, and Jule-nissen in Denmark and Norway. An offering of porridge, or rice and milk, or Ready Brek if you're in a hurry, is left for the Yule elf on the eve of Yule (or Christmas).

Straw Goat

Anyway, it gets a little complicated as the goat is also a symbol of satan as the escort of St. Nikolaus, the patron saint of children. But what it means is that today, the goat is a prominent symbol for Christmas in Sweden, where a goat of straw often can be found under the Christmas tree, and basically anywhere else.

The Rabbit Of Easter and other odd customs

Now if you come from a place which celebrates Christmas but does not use a goat to do so, well do not snigger. We can all be David Sedaris and find an Easter Bell flying in from Rome to France a lot less appropriate than the Rabbit of Easter for delivering chocolate secretly to your home in the midle of the night, but aren't you already using a Christmas Tree? And you got your Christmas Tree from the same people that you haven't got your goat from - yet. Even if you only have it for the 12 hours of Christmas instead of the 12 Days? It literally is a matter of time before it becomes the 12 Minutes of Christmas. And how exactly does Santa get into your house anyway, with you living in a smoke-free zone and all? People with straw myths shouldn't throw burning arrows.

Gävle Builds the Goat

Which takes us to 1966. Yes it does. That's when the town of Gävle in Sweden has erected a huge goat of straw every year since. Wikipedia has a full entry on it, and its fame is worldwide because of what happens to the Goat more often than not.

Gävle Destroys the Goat

Not planned by the goat builders, be they merchants, city authorities, or scientists. And an act of vandalism that really is illegal, but there is a tradition of destroying the goat. It's nice to think it's burned ceremoniously on Christmas Eve - but it isn't. Certainly it has been burned many many times, but it has also had a car crash into it, and had its legs destroyed, among other fatalities. And it can happen from the moment it is erected.

An American Destroys the Goat

Since the first giant goat was erected in the town in 1966, only seven have survived Christmas. During that time only one person has been caught and found guilty of arson: an American tourist who claimed in court that he thought he was taking part in a completely legal goat-burning tradition. Well it burned again last night. Despite the security cameras, despite the fireproofing, despite the police watch, the Goat burned down last night.

Santa Destroys the Goat

According to The Local in Sweden, a Santa and a Gingerbread Man are suspected of burning down the famous Christmas Goat in Gävle. Police suspect them of using either a flaming arrow or a flare.

An Indestructible Goat?

In a world where a Burning Man is art, and so is a Wicker Man especially when he burns, and where we toss cows or shoot at hanging clay pots with cats in them, what do we expect of large straw animals? You could make a structure to look like it is made of straw but really be of metal - like the Horses of 'driftwood' at Kansas City, Missouri's Zoo - but why?

Tradition as Art

If you did that then you would lose the tradition of the build, and of the hunt, and the ultimate - or not if the security forces win, much like the German wooden pieces in the board game Colditz - destruction. And so the Burning Goat of Gavle in Sweden is very much art, a celebration, of construction and possible destruction, and life just going on.

See the Goat

The official website for the town of Gavle in Sweden is www.gavle.se, where there is also a webcam with live pictures of what remains of the goat. If you wish to see the goat in flames, then Jogin.com has a few pictures from 2003 when the goat was burned. Impressive sight.

Paul Dorrell says:

if you're like most artists, nothing will keep you from your work. You may have to burn more midnight oil to stay with it


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Celebration Time

Life here now is once again part of the great American tradition of the build up. It's what Midwesterners do. Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and especially, as of right now, Christmas - but also every little local and family event that occurs. Basically you build up and build up, you talk about it and commercialise it - right up until it's due to take place. And of course it doesn't.

Celebrate The Build Up

Or at least it might as well not as it's so insignificant. I am coming to terms with accepting that we celebrate the build up to things that don't happen, rather than building up to the celebration of something that's happening.

Toss The Tree

Christmas Eve will be rough this year but I suppose I can just close my eyes and count, for within hours it will all be over and Christmas Tees will be thrown outside with the trash long long before the wise men ever get here.

The 2nd Day of Christmas

On the First Day of Christmas my True Love Gave to Me, a Partridge in a Pear Tree. On the Second Day of Christmas my True Love Gave to Me, well nothing to be honest. She, took down the tree and decorations in the morning - she called it de-Christmasing - and then she went back to work. No Maids a-Milking nor Lords a-Leaping. Not a Piper in sight, and NOOO GO-LD RINGS.

Auld Lang Syne

Just the First Day of Christmas then, as the other Eleven Days of Christmas get ignored, left outside for Bulky-Item Pick-Up, and wasted in the build up to the Great New Year's Eve Party where we'll sing a song in an old Scottish dialect that we don't understand. If it happens at all, that is. But we'll celebrate the build-up to it nonetheless.


Of course for that special Christmas Eve feel I could always go strolling through some malls. But you know? I'm almost Christmased-out thinking about it.

Paul Dorrell says:

after the installation is complete, what do you do next? Celebrate.


Friday, December 02, 2005

The Funeral of George Best

Football legend George Best is to be buried in Belfast on Saturday after a funeral service at Stormont.

Once upon a time, in a life long lost, George Best's name was the first footballer's name I sang. Because I grew up in the sixties and the seventies. And because of him.
George Best's body will leave his father's home at Cregagh Road, East Belfast, at 10am on Saturday, December 3, 2005. The funeral cortege will then travel the short distance to Stormont where the 11am service in the Grand Hall will be relayed to thousands of mourners. Afterwards, George Best will be buried beside his mother Annie in the hill-top Roselawn Cemetery, overlooking east Belfast.

Attending George's Funeral

Sporting stars, including team mates from Manchester United's European Cup winning side of 1968, together with manager Alex Ferguson and other current representatives of the club, are attending. The BBC reports that Pele will not be attending due to being unable to alter his schedule in Brazil. Sammy McIlroy, the original 'new George Best', will similarly not be able to attend though he has recorded messages of condolences that will be broadcast to the family while he takes care of the team he manages in Morecambe.
The family specifically requested that the funeral be on Saturday to make it easier for ordinary fans to attend - whilst knowing that would make it more difficult for football stars to get to the funeral. George's brother-in-law Norman explained: Many working people would have had to have taken time off work and maybe missed a day's pay to attend.

We wanted to make it as easy as possible for those fans who wanted to pay their respects to George to be able to do so.

This is not primarily a day that is about the big names. It is about the people. That is the way George would have wanted it.

There is a limit of 32,000 who can be accomodated at Stormont, so beyond that it is recommended that the best place to attend the funeral is along the route of the cortege. The family have asked for privacy at the cemetary and earlier at George Best's father's house.

Hotel rooms in Belfast, thought to number 3,000 are almost all booked up.

Best's ex-wives Angie and Alex are both due to be in Belfast for the funeral, along with his girlfriend Ros Hollidge.

Order of service

The service at Stormont starts at 1100 GMT and is due to proceed as follows:

The coffin enters the Grand Hall at Parliament Buildings and is placed at foot of main staircase
Peter Corry sings Bring Him Home
Welcome to family and other mourners by Eamonn Holmes
Hymn - The Lord's My Shepherd
Tribute from Denis Law
Brian Kennedy sings Vincent
Tribute from Bobby McAlinden
Address by Pastor Roy Gordon
Poetry reading by Calum Best
Tribute from George Best's sister, Barbara McNarry
Peter Corry sings The Long and Winding Road
Tributes from George Best's consultant Prof. Roger Williams and Dr Akeel Alisa
Hymn - Abide With Me
Pastor Gordon gives closing prayer
Eamonn Holmes brings service to a close
Brian Kennedy sings You Raise Me Up
Coffin is carried out of Grand Hall to hearse followed by family members.

The outpouring of grief will be the biggest since more than a million people lined the streets of London in 1997 for (the funeral of Princess) Diana, said The Sun newspaper, acknowledging the newly established sport of public grieving.

Once upon a time Britain went out to the world, conquered it, and ruled it. And when she retreated she brought the world back with her. From her empire Britain brought a pagentry and flair for the spectacular, and the celebration. It suited especially her Royal Family, and her Dead. And so we had the funeral of Churchill, and ultimately the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales - who handed the torch of Royalty from the Family to Celebrity.

So now we have George, neither a King nor a Prince literally but about to be treated like no sportsperson has ever been. And his funeral will be about us, not him. In the Age of Information we as a planet are family, and we choose to celebrate together. It is the act of celebrating together that we are actually celebrating much like we did when Pope John Paul II died and Ayatollah Khomeini before him. This occasion is beyond a funeral. It is a happening. It is art. And maybe twenty-five years from now, after the funerals of Pele, Muhammad Ali, and Diego Maradona, will we know what it means.

The End

In the tradition of Wet Canvas Dreams, we present just a token of the headlines that the end of the life of George Best has provoked:

"Life's game, as played by George Best"
"To watch George Best play football was to fall in love with the game. This was his legacy: Beyond price"
"Maradona, Pele, Cruyff pay tribute to Best"
"Simply the Best"
"Remember him today at 3pm"
"George Best: The passing of a legend"
"Do Not Mourn, Celebrate Him"
"Thanks to George for all the super memories"
"George Best: A Football Colossus"
"The Best That There's Ever Been"
"He Made Football Beautiful"
"George Best 1946-2005"

The Quotes of George Best

Alas this website is a place of words and only words, so let a smattering of George's own words tickle us sadly as we smile in memory of a footballer:
  • "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars - the rest I just squandered."

  • "I used to go missing a lot...Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World..."

  • (On David Beckham) "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's alright."

  • "If I had been born ugly, you would never have heard of Pelé"

  • "In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol. It was the worst 20 minutes of my life."

  • "Pelé called me the greatest footballer in the world. That is the ultimate salute to my life."

  • "I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep."

  • "I once said Gazza's IQ was less than his shirt number and he asked me: "What's an IQ?"

  • (On Eric Cantona) "I'd give all the Champagne I've ever drunk to be playing alongside him in a big European match at Old Trafford."

  • (On the blood transfusion after his liver transplant) "I was in for 10 hours and had 40 pints - beating my previous record by 20 minutes."

  • "Half-time!" - when asked by Michael Parkinson how soon to kick off he had made love.

The Beginning

The final words are those of birth, announcing the beginning of the artistry that was the man, still a boy, as written on the telegram sent to Manchester United by talent scout Bob Bishop, who discovered a 15-year-old George Best playing for Cregagh Boys' Club in Belfast in the north of Ireland:

"I think I've found you a genius"

Paul Dorrell says:

If the art world is primarily one of play for you, then just keep on playing. The best work comes from that sort of inner freedom.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dog Welfare for a Better Health

The dog next door doesn't get sick so much anymore, so I let it in to my house for the first time in months. Now if I was depressed the little dog would be black of course. However the dog is white, therefore I must be happy. Very happy, in fact. I wonder how little black dogs describe having a depression?

Once upon a time, in a life long lost, I knew a girl who postulated that white dogs did white poos and darker dogs eliminated darker substances. Not being overly knowledgeable about the welfare of dogs' digestive systems, I was easily convinced by her. Of course this might have been more related to her being a rather attractive blond. And also that blond was probably the color that best described her own eliminations.

But it's the blond that is the hair of the dog next door I want to talk about today.

Sweaters That Knit Themselves

Being a devout follower of how to live the artist's life, you will already be aware of my fantastically tortuous method of preparing meals. Well the dog next door has brought a similar happiness to life. Moodily - and happily so, I feel I must emphasize - dressing in dark clothing mostly of wool, I find myself not only covered in Pythagoras' - for that is the little blighter's name - hairs, but I am completley enmeshed with them. It's as if they have knitted themselves into my wool wear.

Sweaters That Knit Themselves

But why happiness you ask? Well if I were simply coverd in hairs I could merely grab some tape - scotch, sello, duct, masking, electric - and apply it until not a hair remained. Once upon a time in a life lost before my earlier lost life, I watched a woman do this very successfully to her fine-knit skirt of clinging black wool. Entranced, I just about managed to get the words out where I pointed out to her - helpfully, I felt - that many people would be very willing to pay money to watch her do this. Broke as I was, she continued until the last of her blond hairs was removed.

Art Takes Time

No it's not the wonderful memory that I am presently grateful to Pythagoras for - though that is a pleasant bonus. No. It's the time it takes me to manually de-hair my clothing.

Pythagoras Theory

A less patient artist would probably switch their wardrobe to a paler variety, perhaps white itself, and thereby in an instant seem so much happier to the world and indeed with the world. But it would be fraudulent. A Theory of Pythagorean Happiness based on color and camoflage. I however, could not be happier. Dressing still in black and navy, or for those frivolous nights, a very dark purple, I first get to spend three to four hours hand-plucking individually little white hairs from between the stitches. We choose our tediums. Oh look, there's a white poo on the white carpet.

Paul Dorrell says:

"Depression is a common malaise, even more common among artists"