I started a painting a few days ago. The story of the masonite boards is somewhat long and winding… I bought them during lockdown (March 2020) in Toronto, and the bag sat in the dank room for a year, unopened. After I returned from my summer at home, it travelled with me to the apartment where it continued sitting in the back of a closet. Then I graduated, came home, and after a month or so I decided to sand and gesso the three boards. They dried and continued to sit in the basement. At some point during the past summer I drew a few pencil lines over one of them, but they were inarticulate make-work. During the renovations, the masonite boards were moved back and forth across the basement. Finally, in March 2023, I decided to pull out the paints.
Actually, I bought three more paints as well as a jug of acrylic medium (for sealing purposes) first, but that was enough. I was motivated after a trip to a wood supply store with my dad. Wood smells really good, especially cedar. Absolutely bangin’ stuff. There were so many different types of products and specialized tools, and everything is so expensive. I figured it’d be easier and cheaper to just find some offcuts and prep them for painting instead of trying to buy boards or canvases already prepped for painting. I did take a painting course in second year and learned how to stretch a canvas, but the wooden stretchers are expensive and I don’t have a staple gun. Canvas has a great feel, though.
While painting, I remembered how fun it is. In the two weeks before break, I spent a lot of time in a kindergarten class. The first week was focused on painting and I spent most of my time hovering around one corner refilling paint and cleaning brushes. When there were less kids at my table, I would sit and paint a little with them. Some little kids really like painting and can actually sit for quite a while. I waited on them like those old Flash restaurant management games—every second I’d hear a tiny voice call “Gra~ce~” or “WE NEED MORE WHITE” or “Can SOMEONE help me?!” and I’d have to make my way around the table. They’re very cute so I can’t get mad… I’m weak and fall for their tricks every time. But anyway, back to painting. After helping them out, I felt like painting too.
I think it’s going alright. I never really learned how to draw “properly” but neither do I care about doing things in a certain way. I do things to have fun. That’s the point of my life. I’ll only do things as long as it’s fun or rewarding to me in some silly way. Even if no one else sees the appeal. I got a haircut a few days ago, too, and it’s super short in the back again. I like how prickly it is, but I also like the longer bangs. It’s kinda… Johan from Monster. Great character.
At the same time, I also started a block print. In San Francisco I bought two of the soft easy-cut blocks, thinking that I needed the practice, but it turns out that I still don’t like the super soft stuff. It crumbles and I can’t get a smooth cut sometimes. I also bought one of the small lino slabs, which is more familiar to me. I’ll work on that next, once I figure out what I want to make… Baking is still happening, at a slower pace because only Gloria eats breakfast these days. After that digital drawing for my friend, I haven’t done anything else. Maybe later today, if I have the focus.
As you can see, I kind of just do things whenever. There’s no real schedule. This applies not just to creative endeavours, but also problems. Yes. I am working hard to be a simple guy.
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