Wet Canvas Dreams

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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Painted, Pooled and Partied

I am in an office where I am dressed in a pair of falling apart canvas trainers, a pair of shorts, and a light but loud Malaysian top. The exposed limbs have a strong golden tan, puntuated only by 38 rather itchy mosquito bites - the mass of dark hairs to be considered more of a texture than punctuation. The trainers were a gift from a woman with large feet and I have subsequently discovered them to be a legendary fashion icon.

Unseasonably Hot

Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer this year. Not sure if it broke 110 degrees in raw terms but with the extreme humidity it certainly did on the Heat Index. Fittingly so the air-conditioning at work broke down. Temperatures indoors were hotter than out as there was no wind, no movement of air, no fans, no windows that open. At nine o'clock in the morning we were at ninety five degrees and it got hotter.

What Heat Does to Grown Adults

People were tetchy. Women considered working in their underwear. I was already hot enough. Sweat dropped off my eyebrows. Paper dissipated upon contact. My arms swam unwillingly across my keyboard. And people stared in disbelief as I consumed my hot fried eggs.

The Artist has no Clothes

Turned off the window air-conditioning unit in my living room last night as I was going to bed. I would turn on the a-c unit in the bedroom when I got there. I never got there. Fell asleep on the couch and woke up at 4:00 a.m. as if in a bath. Trying to undress out of wet warm clothes is different. Today the a-c is finally working in the office but my ridiculous garb was to combat an in-case situation.

No Need to Bite Nails

Work is bearable, puzzling, daft and damp. Last couple of weeks I've been designing logos and drawing road maps so there was no need to bite my nails. Next week, who knows? Maybe I'll be biting somebody else's nails.

The Boxes are Coming!

Payment made for shipment of my personal effects and all those boxes are supposedly in transit. I love boxes. Exciting times. I love all containers.

Suffering for Art

My friends returned from their vacation. Their being back means I only have grass to cut at one house every 5 days. That's a big plus. The last cut nearly killed me but then I was trying to maintain the momentum with a painting and so did it at the hottest time of the day. Sometimes there's a pool I can jump in. Have learned how to float and drink beer simultaneously. Not always perfect but am developing a taste for chlorine.

First Fourth

My first Fourth of July passed and it was a interesting. Saturday night produced domestic fireworks and never having been so close I gave it my share of oohs and aahs. Sunday I painted for hours and hours and then pooled. Then at eleven I partied. Finished off with more fireworks and bigger and better oohs and aahs. Somewhat like Pollock painting in the air, only with light that never lands.

Is That a Baseball in Your Arm?

Monday was the day. One of my big bug bites got even bigger. It ballooned up in a diameter of three inches all swollen and causing my entire forearm and left hand to tingle. Rang a nurse, got prescibed medication, and established that me and the arm would live. So I could make it to a neighbourhood Softball game on time (half nine in the morning but these are strange times). Everybody plays - from two yr olds to seventy yr olds. It's competitive and always ends up in a tie.

It's a Parade!

Have a beer, because it's half ten in the morning, or because it's hot, or because it's a holiday, or any combination of reasons. And then the parade. A neighbourhood affair. Maybe half a dozen adults fancy dressed up. One simply wore soccer clothes and a wig that made him look like Higuita the South American keeper, and held a piece of paper that said World Cup. Had he tried to look like a woman footballer then it would have been interesting. Other adults were up to the same standard. The kids all dressed up as charcters from story books. Maybe 15 in total. And then they all paraded, with ordinarily dressed neighbours and two vehicles following. Peter Pan was there, as was Tinkerbell.

Mayor waves at Queens

A quick drive across the busy highway to another neighbourhood where the above paragraph all happens again. Uncle Sam led this parade and displayed a marvellous ability to walk as if on stilts. Alongside him walked the Mayor of the city and I have no idea how they persuaded her. She had no one to wave at however as the entire neighborhood (a few streets) was in the parade. Nobody but
me and nine watching queens. These were a different kind of queen than the one presenting prizes in the rival neighbourhood.

Artist Interviewed

So I drank more and ate tons of free food under tented gazebo's on peoples lawns and finally was interviewed by the main city newspaper because I was not American on this most American of days. After half an hour of that nonsense I got out of there by saying that I too, like the Mayor had other neighbourhoods to visit. Before I left I passed thirty people dressed in yellow plastic sacks and armed with balloons full of water and water machine guns. I slipped quietly through their ranks as they made their way to the gazebos.

How To Paint a City

Back in 'Neighborhood A' their wacky Olympics were finishing and it was time to go to somebody's lawn and eat free food and drink lots of beer. So I did and my plate was apparently the fullest warranting inclusion on the official video of the day. And then the pool again and I said no to many fireworks invitations - the big ones and the domestic ones where people spend a mere 450 dollars on sending strange shapes of light into the sky. Sitting on a porch at eleven that night, 5.1 miles from my house - I was genuinely staggered by the noise from the city. Many houses on every block were letting off fireworks. I don't believe wars even sound like that. And it went on for hours. Seemingly before they were made illegal it was even noisier. Perhaps next year I could load them with paintballs and paint a city?

Paul Dorrell says:

"With a lot of hard work on your part, and an equal measure of dedication, I can help you get there."


At 2:10 PM, Blogger fin said...

post a picture!

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Verne Gripes said...

I'm afraid I decided when starting Wet Canvas Dreams that I wouldn't post pictures. Undeniably daft for a blog by an artist, but I wanted it to be about the words - even when talking about pictures.


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