The art thing is coming along, but I’m a very slow and hesitant artist.
I’m drawn to computer art because it’s in my comfort zone. You can try something and if you make a mistake or just don’t like the effect, you can hit “undo.” Real art, with paint and glue and materials and stuff, is not so forgiving. Not only can I not draw a straight line, I can’t even glue straight. I end up frantically trying to reposition something before it’s permanently stuck in place, and then the paper is curling and sticking to itself and oh my god it’s stressful. But I’m persevering. I haven’t given up.
I try not to use anything I’m going to miss if I wreck it, since I probably will, but I have these attachment issues. I glue some text to a photocopy of a photograph, and the whole thing is absolutely re-createable, but I find myself getting attached to it: I’m afraid to take the next step because I haven’t wrecked it yet and I don’t want to. If I ever get anywhere close to finishing a piece, I’m going to be a nervous wreck.
I bought two paper packs at Wallacks the other day. They contain pieces of gorgeous papers of various types and sizes, which I can use in my collages. I’m reluctant to use the nice ones. I figure I’ll practice on the not-so-nice ones and save the best ones for when I’ve mastered the art of glueing. But that seems to be a weird way to go about making a collage…choosing only stuff you don’t much like.
I finally used one of the nice pieces of paper. It was a textured semi-transparent sheet when I started. Like a dryer sheet, only nicer. I took a 5×7 canvas. I glued a colour print-out of some antique sheet music on it as the background. Then I very carefully glued the 5×7 sheet of textured semi-transparent paper over that. I took a little break while waiting for the glue to dry, and when I went back, the paper had vanished. Vanished. I’m pretty sure it’s still glued on there, it’s just invisible now. So I’d say textured semi-transparent paper is anti-climatic.
I’ve done a few more digital collage Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) in the last little while. See?
Nam myoho renge kyo:
The ATC thing is kind of fun, because you make them and post them at the Artist Trading Card Forum, and then trade them with other people. Here’s how it works. Someone likes one of my cards and offers to trade. I look at their gallery, pick out one of their available cards, and we seal the deal and mail each other our cards. Traders usually include little art-making bits with the card, like paper scraps, so you get to add to your inventory of supplies at the same time. I like having something to look forward to in the mail: since Paddy died, my mailbox hasn’t had anything interesting in it, and now it sometimes does.
The other day I met Janet at the Shanghai for a lychee martini, and I was telling her about the ATC thing. She made me tell the guy who was serving us, since he’s into art. I started to explain it, and I used the term “mail art.” He replied, “Nudes?” It took me a moment to realize he thought I meant “male art.”
Which reminds me of the time my sister and I were in Mexico and we saw a peculiar animal in a cage.
“What kind of animal is it?” I asked the man in charge.
“A mayo,” he replied.
Hmm, how odd, a peculiar-looking animal that I’d never even heard of.
And then he pointed at another one, at the other end of the cage, and said “That’s a femayo.”