Thursday, August 08, 2013


I got a new woodburning tool as a gift and couldn't wait to give it a try.  It has different points for making different types of lines, though I found that the one I am used to works the best, at least at this point.  The new one gets a lot hotter than the old one, and I really need better wood, but I have had a day of fun experimenting with it.  I practiced on some things I have already done, then set out to make a masterpiece.  I used an image I invented back in my school days to illustrate an e.e. cummings poem.  I identified with it, and still do.  The results are less than stellar, but I like the idea.

It was fun to dig out the charcoal drawing, which took me back to the days when I had some imagination.  I remember I made this image up  sitting on the porch of a time share condo in Key West.  A student of mine invited me in payment for participating in a painting workshop I taught.  I was working on a project for a class in sequential drawing.  The words of the poem still reverberate in my head (in e.e.cummings' voice since I had a recording of him reading it), saying "I am a man, I am an artist, I am a failure."  It seemed, and seems, so perfectly descriptive of an artist's life and work.  He sits on top of three chairs, perched on a wire high at the top of a circus tent.  The crowd watches anxiously.  The wire begins to swing, the chairs fall, but the artist does not fall.  The chairs are caught by somebody or nobody, but the artist doesn't see or care, remains aloof and disconnected.

I was full of "angst" in those days.
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