Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ever feel like life's become an Escher drawing?

Blues singers get it.
Country and Western Yeehaws have been known to articulate it.
Even floppy haired 60's beat combo fops in frilly shirts strayed into the arena now and then.
I'm talking about the down-on-your-luck, nobody-loves-me, life-ain't-fair lyricists who remind us all of how pointless it can be to keep paddling in an endless sea of disappointment, rejection and futility.

Songs like ' I started out with nothing and I've got most of it left' and 'My wife ran off with my best friend and I really miss that guy' are like anthems to the dispossessed.
Some people, when they fall, hit the ground like a dropped pie whilst others seem to view hard flat surfaces as trampolines to help them bounce higher.

Me, I'm somewhere in the middle, sort of rubbery but fragile round the edges like a badly cooked bat.

I made a real grimley of the last portrait.
It's still a touchy subject but suffice to say it was a lurid combination of v.attractive singer/songwriter, charity fundraiser, impossible (self imposed) deadline - um, 5hrs?! -and a Lot of Awkwardness.
Lead balloon, fart in a spacesuit, Susan Boyle at the Commonwealth Games awkward.
I'd have had a better response if I'd presented her with a shit in a bottle.
Ooh, the lessons learnt...

Anyway, moving on:
My dad met my mum in 1940, when he was barely out of school and still very interested in model aeroplanes.
My mum was a bit older, and was more impressed with chaps who smoked pipes whilst doing the foxtrot, so dad had to come up with something special to catch her eye, so he carved a perfect little plane out of a single piece of wood and presented it to her.
It must have taken him hours, but the shear devotion of it won the day or I would not be here to tell the tale.
( I think it was a one off. Can't think of a single woman I've ever been able to impress with whittling skills. )

I think our family tree was the sort that bears nuts.

 My grandfather spent  years creating amazing contraptions, intricate models and delightful paintings in the face of hostile disapproval and a lifelong pressure to "knuckle down and stop messing about with arty hobbies" but the things he left behind which I treasure most are not what he earned his daily crust from.
The painting I found recently in an attic connects me to him because it allows me a glimpse through his eyes, even though it was painted 116 years ago.

It's about allowing yourself to dream; about not listening to the voice in your head that tells you you're not good enough and about getting up more times than you fall down.


ps. To restore my dented crust I'm off to Dr Sketchy's Big Birthday Drawing Bash on Sunday 27th.
Nothing beats a class full of arty dreamers and outrageous Burlesque models who definitely know a thing or two about bouncing.
Maybe see you there.
I'll be the one in the pork pie hat.

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