January 27, 2012

The politically correct vaquero whose broken arm drove me to drink

The evolution of a painting:

Sister-in-law Vic: "Hey, Cob, can you paint a canvas to donate to a family whose house the church is renovating?"

Me: "For sure! Why are you wearing three hats?"
Vic: "Because I want you to paint a cowboy or rodeo scene. Those earmuffs are...nice."
Me: "Thanks! Rodeo cowboy, huh? This is a little out of my midwestern league. Not cheese curds? Or a bottle of Leinenkugel?"
Rodeo cowboy...rodeo cowboy...Hm. I wonder if I use this guy on this horse body with this horse head...and then fool everyone into thinking it's fancy by splitting it into two panels...
Rob: "Ooo, two panels - fancy! Why does his arm look broken? I also think you may have to do something about the horse's...rump...area..." Me: "Hmm, yes. Strategically-placed tail swoosh: check."
Suggestion giver who shall remain nameless: "Meh. How about something like this?"
[Take a moment to gather yourself after that one. I did. Aaaaaand continuing on...]

Blank canvases? Check. Sonic real fruit strawberry slush? Check. Fruit-flavored marshmallows? Check.
And this is where I began to sweat and get stressed and pound marshmallows. [As you can see, I work with only the finest art materials. Such as this paper plate. With the lovely fruit designs.]
Haha! It'sliketheinvisibleman! Hahahahahaha! DidIjusteatthatentirebagofmarshmallows? Doslushieshavesugarinthem? Mytonguecanmove48392milesaminute! Hahahahahaha!
I hate horses. I hate horses. This brown paint is the worst. This rump-area-covering tail swoosh isn't working. alsdkfjsldkjf;asldkfj
The jeans aren't working. I hate jeans. I hate jeans... ......I need new jeans... I wonder if there are enough tall women around here that Plato's Closet might have something... I think I'll get some darker skinny jeans if I can... my other ones don't work with a bunch of my shirts... I wonder if Rob will make a marshmallow run for me...
I hate horses. I hate horses. Now for the face and hands...crap crap crap crap. Wait, the parents getting this are originally from Mexico - this probably should be a vaquero, not some blond-haired, blue-eyed cowboy. Wait, is that trying too hard? Am I overthinking this? Will this be blatantly offensive, like I'm assuming that the family is intolerant and only wants paintings of rodeo riders who aren't of European descent? Or will I look like some intolerant, ignorant Dutch American who gives no regard to the cultural heritage of her painting's recipients? "Rob?!? Help!"
Me: "Tell me honestly what you think. Really. Be honest."   Rob: "His arm looks a little funny."   Me: "That's what you said about the original photograph! That's his weird rodeo arm flying around. It's too late now!!"   Rob: "What if yo-"   Me: "HIS ARM CAN'T CHANGE. DON'T TALK ABOUT IT!"   Rob: "Okay......I think it is gorgeous. Truly breathtaking... But the horse is a little flat. What's wrong with his feet?"   Me [grumpily]: ".......I haven't painted them yet. Why do you have to be so critical? Ugh. Go away! Stop talking about the painting."
I hate hands. I hate hands. I hate hands.
Neighbor: "I came over to see what you were doing. Nice artwork! Oooo, what are you drinking?"   Me: "Wine."
Vic: "Cob! It looks AWESOME on the bedroom wall here!! I love his shirt-"   Me: "DON'T TALK ABOUT HIS ARM..... ....... Uh, hahahaha...just kidding."   Vic: "...Okaaaaay. Hey how'd it go? Is this something I can get you to do again for me next year, perhaps??"   Me: "It was a piece of cake! I just pounded it out. For sure I'll do it again!!"

I think I must have believed myself because how else could she have talked me into painting those 11 canvases for the elementary school this past fall? Like running a marathon, the joy is in the finish line for me - all the pain is inconsequential in the end. Except for the two cavities I'm sure I developed in those 20 hours.

1 comment:

sylvia beeman said...

Thanks.  Your horse's rump is helpful to me as I construct a papier mache sculpture I will call"The blue horse can run and run", a half woman/half horse figure.  My husband, who paints protraits since retiring, and I are very impressed with your drawing skills.