Friday, February 17, 2006

Painting, Charity, and Anti-Theft

This is a picture of Judy, Lisa, and Pat working in Judy's studio. My painting is in the foreground. Sydney asked me to paint a picture of her mother with her as a baby. The painting will go in the place meant for a mirror in an antique dresser she has. I used some old photographs of the two of them to get an idea of the likeness, then posed them together. It's done now, I think, though I have to wait and see what Sydney has to say. I have never met her mother and so can't be sure if I managed to get her. It's been a fun project, and once again makes me realize how much I like doing portraits. I don't know if it's because I like doing the painting without having to think up the subject matter, or if it's just because I am good at painting people. We all like to have an excuse to do what we do well, especially if we are going to be rewarded for it. I have always liked the challenge of being given a subject and working with it in my own way. So much responsibility is taken away, since the idea for the painting is already in place, and I am free to concentrate on its execution alone. I have no burning need to say anything with my art. That makes me a craftsman, which I am old enough to believe is less important, less revered, than being an "artist." Vocabulary is important after all. We are what we name ourselves.

I am slowly climbing out of the financial hole I am in and soon I may not mention dollars and cents again for awhile. It is so dull a subject that I find myself skipping passages of my own writing when I re-read my blog entries. It's hard to admit that you bore even yourself. All of my whining has motivated Mike to send me financial aid, for which I will be eternally grateful. Nevertheless, I feel some indefineable malaise for having complained to such an extent. It is a case somewhat similar to Pat's buying the painting from me. Neither of them should ever have known my financial situation in the first place. My New England heritage does not allow for broadcasting neediness. I have broken some unspoken rule of propriety. I feel shabby and course. Nevertheless, I have accepted the help and the extra money is a financial lifesaver. I can only hope that I do not allow myself to get into such a mess again. And if I do, to I keep quiet about it.

I had the anti-theft device on my car disabled when I went to Bangor yesterday, so now it will start without having to use the remote starter. What an incredible inconvenience it was to keep track of the tiny plastic rectangle that housed the magic buttons. How obnoxious to have to fumble around for it while carrying armloads of groceries. How nerve-wracking, knowing that it was bound to get lost sooner or later. Now I can simply put the key in the ignition and turn it to start the engine. Who would have thought that such a thing could bring such joy?

The painting of Sydney and her mother follows as it is before the final yay or nay has been said. Posted by Picasa

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