August 15th, 2011

Rule 42

Turns out, it was me laughing

One of the reasons I love my friend Elizabeth is that she makes me learn things just by being around. She and Opal came over on Saturday, bringing paints and brushes and canvases and plans for abstract art.

I am not particularly good at art. Let me rephrase: I am bad at it. This does not dim my enthusiasm. It does, however, make expression more challenging because Someone Might Laugh. Worse, someone might point out that I have just turned perfectly useful raw materials into a perfectly awful mess. Worst of all, I could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can never get an A in art, unless it is the mercy kind that means I followed the directions even if what I got turned out to be worse than what elephants can do.

It is my job to waste paper; that is what writers do, most of the time. Canvas, however, that’s an investment. So I looked at my blank canvas with fear and trembling. Opal was already creating a fantastical tree. Elizabeth had a plan involving circles that became a mandala. T. had brown stuff growing up from the base of his canvas. I had anxiety.

And red paint.

Eventually, I put the paint on the canvas. Canvas is bumpy. Straight lines are hard. Paint is smushy. And I began to have fun. Here is what having fun looks like (and yes, the smiley face was completely necessary to the process):