Ahead of the Game

bust1 bust2 bust3 bust4This afternoon, after missing an author’s presentation at the community library due to uncooperative time and distance, I arrived home to continue yesterday afternoon’s endeavor: painting a ceramic bust I made in my sculpture class. I bisque fired the monster but decided not to waste good glaze on him; he deserved no more than cheap acrylic paint. The bust appears alien, which I intended, but it is far more elongated (top of head to neck) than I planned; that’s just the way things work. It is, I must admit, hideous. With my masks, I can adjust along the way and, more often than not, finish with something I find pleasing to my eye. At least modestly so. No so much with the bust. When I deviate from the work in clay that I most enjoy, my lack of talent screams at me to stop. Painting is no more a natural talent than sculpting busts, so the outcome is, quite frankly, the work one might associate with a teenager who has yet to realize the visual arts have no place for him. That notwithstanding, I painted the thing.

While I waited for the paint to dry, I skimmed through photographs I took during our trips to France and, later, Wisconsin a few months ago. The places we saw oozed art and talent and beauty. But I did not feel compelled to try to imitate the artists of Provence or, for that matter, Madison, Wisconsin. Yet when I’m in the Village, I have this demented sense that I ought to produce art. Whether words or sculpture or pottery or painting; something artistic. It’s fine and good to try one’s hand at artistic endeavors, but after coming to the realization that art does not flow in one’s blood, one might be best served by doing something else. Like what? Hell, I don’t know; if I knew, I wouldn’t be writing this plaintive howl about my scarcity of talent. I should not be down (and, in fact, apparently I am not); I should be happy that I have been able to see and experience so many marvelous things. And I am. So why am I writing this? I’m thinking just now of the answer I would have gotten from someone I once knew: “diarrhea of the fingers.” That’s disgusting. Well, yes it is.

I suppose I’m typing in my blog-that-sometimes-pretends-to-be-a-journal. That’s what I’m doing.What else is one supposed to do at 4:30 p.m.? Oh, yeah, I could be exercising. There is that.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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