Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Whilst gazing at the walls in a resplendent moment of quietude I remembered that once upon a lifetime I was an art major and that when we moved into this house almost two years ago I vowed to paint some big-ass canvases and deck the joint out with "abstract art" that would hopefully strike the pose of real-ish looking Work.
I started with a thirty-six by forty-eight inch canvas and layered it one childless day with remnants of Benjamin Moore colors, mostly in shades of confrontation-fearing putty (it's a big canvas), that grace our otherwise bare walls. I made a mess and had fun and was more or less happy with the result, which had a found-objecty feel that I love, but I made the mistake of painting the last layer with the same color as the wall on which it was to hang, which is a little too non-confrontational, even for me. Instead of continuing the painting with more layers (I'd already schlepped the cans of paint back to the basement and changed out of my painting jeans) I varnished it instead, which hopefully did the trick. When you visit, we can consider it over dirty martinis and sharp cheese.

When the kids got a load of it, they both asked repeatedly to paint canvases of their own. They might have sensed they could do better. I couldn't resist, as, for one thing, I have been slacking on the art projects around here, maybe because of a lack of enthusiasm on all fronts or maybe because most days I feel like an underpaid cleaning woman and the thought of deliberately making a mess sends my lumbar region into crippling spasms. Even so, another memory sprang forth. In yet another lifetime I was a certified art teacher in the city of New York, grades K-12. Yes, I was one of those people, springing from one aspiration to the next all through college and in the decade beyond. Fashion design, film, advertising, teaching, acting, interior design, and finally writing and motherhood. My choices did share the common theme of the creative arts however, so I don't feel like a total flake, which is comforting on cold dark insomniac nights.

Anyway, until I can afford large works by established professionals, uber-cool students and other burgeoning talents, I've enlisted myself and the kids (child labor!) to fill the walls. I give you below, little hands (and arms in Stella's case) hard at work. Or are they hard at play?


Amelia Plum said...

stella really puts her whole self into her work. you've got to show us a picture of your painting, for those of us that might not be visiting any time in the near future. hamish's painting looks nice, i like the light blue square and the texture of the pain lines. i'm sensing that their painting styles match their disparate personalities, no?

elise said...

Hey A, I will send you a photo of my masterpiece. So yeah, Stella has focus. We listened to a LOT of songs on the iPod before she declared that she was done and by that time she was painting herself and overcome with the giggles. If I'd thought of it sooner or had more money, I'd have stopped her because the painting was quite good earlier on, and handed her another canvas. But she was so into the process, going over and over her work until all the colors muddied together and she lost a lot of depth. Hamish on the other hand, we thought he'd spend the entire morning on his painting which is bigger than Stella's but he was done with it by the time Bryan got home from dropping her off at school, even though he was the more vocal of the two about wanting to paint. His could have gone on much longer. He also got messier than I would have expected, so he was pretty loose, and she was more contolling than I would have thought, making sure she covered all the edges, etc. It was interesting! Thanks as always for your comment! xo