The Nasca pieces didn’t look so terrible to me by Tuesday! Forget the part where I screwed up intarsia—-that doesn’t matter. Who really cares if I missed the whole point, anyway? As art, they might contain the seed of an idea worth pursuing.
Sunday night, after grievous injury (read my previous intarsia post for the bloody details), I was ready to lock the Hive’s door and never go back. Intarsia had looked so easy from the pictures, but turned out to be much more meticulous and detail-oriented than I will ever be in this life. I had so looked forward to working with my new jar of graphite and being alone for an entire day with an audiobook (Susannah Clarke’s tour de force Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell). But I crawled out of there at five-thirty a beaten woman.
Being a whipped writer helps
As a writer I’ve trained myself to not make snap judgments about any new writing projects. Stephen King, in his masterful book On Writing, talks about putting your manuscript in a drawer for a few weeks. And he’s right; the elves sneak in and rewrite that pile of nonsense into something that could almost be a first draft. Amazing!
I’ve noticed that with visual art, unfortunately, you can’t exactly turn away. Your eye is drawn to new objects. Of course, I could have left the Nasca pieces in the studio where I would not return for five days, but that’s the other thing: whipped as I was, I couldn’t let them go.
But a few days at my real job helped a great deal and when I sat down this morning to wipe off the first bloom on the wax, I saw them with fresh eyes. Still not one hundred percent on the graphite—it gets real dark real fast. And the white pigment I used was incredibly gritty. And intarsia kicked my ass. But the idea kind of worked.
Until next time, here’s something beautiful from Mark Rothko for your consideration: