Sunday, June 7, 2009

Your life is one long canvas

If you think about it, that title kind of makes sense. You just need an open mind to grasp it. First off, instead of your traditional canvas, think to cavemen times where people drew on walls. They started telling a story from picture to picture, from wall to wall until an entire saga spread throughout the wall. Now think of a papyrus scroll which was just one long sheet of paper. Now think that your life is one long sprawling papyrus scroll which you draw on.

Ok, so that might be a little weird but think of it in terms of writing from left to right (unless you're from the East, in which you'd go from right to left.

You start as a baby, you draw gibberish, stains, incomprehensible lines and curves that make no sense. You might even tear parts of the paper off or stain it with baby food or cheetos. Slowly you see the drawnings start to take shape, make more sense. Scribbles and doodles, but something more linear, coherent even.

You keep drawing because you don't have a choice. You start to introduce color, things you see influence you but it's still your perspective, your eye and your life that's going on paper. More colors, a specific gammet of color and you start to see real beauty. That's your perception. The more you live, the more complex it is. You see a trail of paint and look back to the beginning and can hardly make it out, and you only remember the really special parts of what you drew. the rest is just emotion, of how it made you feel and the general overall feeling you had way back when. You use crayons, pencils, carbon, stencils, aerosols, oleos and pretty much anything you can use to create or document if you will. The canvas grows, gets smaller, swerves and takes different shapes.

Some days you paint vibrantly, other times minimallistically. Some days you draw landscapes, followed by people, followed by to do lists and numbers. Album covers appear along movie posters, musical notes and song lyrics become headlines and comments. It gets more and more complex and though you are focused on the moment, you know what you've done and you know what you want to do even if it's only partial memory and planning.

Your story can then include a specific topic, a woman, a man, and for a period of time, that's all that is shown there. Add to that a dog or a cat, maybe even a bird. You see circles, bands, flying rice, and cans dragging across rough pavement.

You start seeing flashes of blue or pink, a baby is shown, and smiles and tears, and bottles and rattles, appear..... Then the changes start to get quicker in your artwork. You go from baby, to child, to adolescent, to adult. The woman that was appearing or the man start sprouting spots of grey and it takes more lines to draw them, especially around the eyes. One moment you see a full house, then it gets empty.

Shadows and greys start coming more into focus and the strength in the lines grow softer. Things that used to take three feet to draw are now drawn out for meters. Little details start popping in and repeats of the same images start showing these details missing at times and present others. Colors fade, the lines get softer and it all gets lighter and lighter. Finally the images start getting smaller, and smaller, infinitely smaller. It gets to the point where the naked eye only sees a small line, but that line used to be a full life, full of color and wonder and now to the layman it's just a line, a simple line, a flat line... but that? That will always be a full life.

I wish anyone who reads this a long life, full of color and wonder. Full of changes and styles, full of perspective, of shade, or points of view, of ups and downs, of small details and large ideas.


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