My five year old son is often with me when I paint. His name is Themistocles, but usually he goes by "Theo" for short (though my father prefers the diminutive "Themistoclaki"). Sometimes Theo sits next to me and paints as well, but usually he works on something else. He always does a lot of gluing and cutting projects but lately he has favored stringing plastic beads that, when finished, he tries to sell for $53.
Theo often wants to keep the paintings I make for this blog. When it comes time to send them out, he sometimes pleads with me to give them to him instead. I've told him that I will make one for him when I have a little break. I didn't have a line up of orders this week so this seemed to be the time.
I asked him what he wanted and his immediate response was "birds flying".
About a week ago, the two of us went to pick up Beth, his mother (who I happen to be married to), from work. As we were waited for her in the car, we watched a huge flock of birds as they flew in circles above the buildings.
"I wish we were all birds", Theo said, "then you and Mama wouldn't have to go to work and I wouldn't have to go to school". Having the mind of a child, I was instantly sucked in and imagined us just flying around all day in bliss. It sounded beautiful.
When Beth got into the car and Theo repeated this, she reminded him that birds actually do work. They have to make nests and hustle for food. Sometimes the mothers have to leave their babies in the nest alone for long periods of time. Beth is obviously more sophisticated than I am. I agreed and pretended to turn it into a lesson for Theo.
I had a dream a couple of nights ago that that someone was ripping off this blog, making the same paintings that I have made and writing similar entries. It turned out to be Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. I got an order to do a painting of the Philadelphia skyline. Since I'd been there and had a feel for the city, I decided (for some reason) that it would be perfect to paint all of the buildings in yellow and brown. After I finished, I checked John Edwards' blog and he did the exact same thing! Jerk.
I wanted to make this bird painting quiet and vague like Theo's imagined bird life. I consulted him throughout the painting and he kept asking me to add more birds. So I did (within reason). Why not? On this painting he was the boss. He seems happy with it now.
In other news...
I've found out that it takes about two weeks for acrylic paint to start molding in a "Sta-Wet" pallet. Just a white fuzz. It's not revolting and doesn't smell but I think it would add a strange texture. Maybe there is a use for that.
So far I've received one drawing from the suggested "Bend in the Wire" drawing exercise. When I get a couple more, I'm going to find a place on the blog to post them. So, please start drawing and don't be too critical or shy. It'll be better that way.
This week I have an order I'm excited to paint. It involves a Border Collie and Tibetan Buddhism. Really. We'll see how it goes. It should be up by the weekend.