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Day 63: Being a (Beloved) Blip

I learned one pathway to painting in the last two weeks: a deadline.

I have been all set for months to dip my toe into oil painting. I had signed up for an online course that mixed writing with painting. I used Christmas money to get the supplies. I crafted the space downstairs. I cut the half-size paper/canvas pieces that the artist-teacher recommended. I taped the edges like she taught us.

Then nothing.

For months.

I couldn’t get my butt in the chair to actually DO IT.

Then Fire&Water was ending, with invitation to craft/create/compose a Presentation of Learning, or PoL as many of you know by now. Beyond writing, something in me wanted to create something by hand, visually, as an offering for my PoL.

I didn’t quite know how to start. I wrote, prepared, packed, cleaned right up to nearly the hour I was supposed to drive away…and then had no choice but to sit my butt in the chair to create SOMETHING. It took two tries, but both were necessary for the final process-experience. A mixed-media poem, I’ll call it.

For the first attempt, I had reached for the paint-tube Flesh, somewhat out of habit I suppose. I had thought I might paint faces. As it came out of the tube, it was pink. I felt an anger, a deep sadness. So many I was getting ready to see could not fit within that ‘bit of flesh.’ Why not just call it Pink? Why Flesh? I picked up other tubes of other colors, but nothing seemed like it wanted to go on the paper. In some defiance, I threw out that first attempt, selecting another paper-canvas, blank.

I decided to make it easier for myself, so got out the oil-pastels instead. Fancy crayons, basically. I chose every other color of flesh and held them all together in my left hand. One big multi-colored ‘crayon,’ which leapt onto the paper in a grand flowing swirl. Up, then down, then further up, then down, then further up again. I liked how the color on top became the bottom color on the way down, alternating as the swirl grew.

The background was blank, off-white, which I didn’t want. I took the black pastel and shaded in all the background. The texture of the paper, however, meant that white was still everpresent. I felt a sadness again. There seemed to be no way to make the blackness solid, whole, only itself. Rather poetic, I thought to myself. If sad, maddening… And yet, I am white. Irretrievably so…

So I got out of the white tincture-tube, added a little oil to it to thin the texture. I placed a ‘blip’ of white at the bottom of the first swirl. I love myself and who I am becoming, I said to myself, smiling, accepting all that means for me today.

Welcome to the world of mixed-media poetry, Lisa-style.

I wonder what it will take to get my butt in the chair again?

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