So, I have a really bad habit of breaking anything electronic including computers, laptops, phones and digital cameras. In 2012, I went thru 2 pcs, 2 laptops, 4 or 5 phones, and 5(?) cameras. 2013 is a little more than 4 months old and I'm working off a friend's loaner pc, just bought a phone to replace a phone that a friend gave me to replace another phone and yesterday I broke my first camera of the year - a gift from a friend.
I'm not proud of my great ability to wreak havoc with electronic equipment but, no matter how hard I try to be careful with anything modern (or breakable), I always seem to help equipment (I deem important) meet it's end pretty quickly. It's as if my presence, like a magnetic force, acts as a repellent to wires and connections and thru Groundhog Day like accidents I repeat the same mistakes over and over again - dropping things, putting things to close to water or me.....and I am ALWAYS surprised when things fall apart.
The same is true in my relationships with (most) people. Just like with electronics, I have a magical, strong magnetic force with people. We find each other, we're drawn to each other and then things either go horribly and fantastically wrong or we have a connectedness that will bind us for years even decades. And in my life those forces, just like my phones and cameras and other electrical equipment, are decisive and quick to either stay or go. It really doesn't seem to matter whether I'm being demure and reserved or my blundering self, quiet or boastful, a friend and supporter or panicked and selfish (my more present self over the past year) the reaction is usually the same: we are attracted then we are deeply repulsed. I have a piece of equipment that works, and then, before I know it, it's lying on the floor in pieces - I have a close pal, then I don't. People and machinery have been going haywire around me my entire life. Its only in the past few years that I've become better at accepting the inevitable: things fall apart. My saving grace, and what makes the repeated process even mildly palatable, is that sometimes I can be a great conduit of stuff and people - not always bc, like a magnet, I do attract oddities but I am deeply proud when my conduit powers work well for everyone involved.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I'm working on a painting called "We don't know what we mean to each other". It's a painting with three figures - a young brother and sister and a female who could be a much older sister or maybe their young mother. The original intent was to have them seated against a deeply colored ground and a stark white sky but then I remembered two photos from my childhood encyclopedia set of shaved steel that had been dropped on sheets of white paper and placed over two sets of magnets. One photo showed a pattern that occurs when similar magnetic fields face each other and the second with dissimilar magnetic fields facing each other. The similar magnetic fields (positive/positive or negative/negative) push the steel shavings away, they are repulsed and push off and away from each other. The dissimilar (positive/negative) are attracted and the steel shavings develop an explosive pattern that shows how the two pieces of magnet(s) connect thru their dissimilar forces.
The idea fits well with how I feel about relationships - we are drawn to each other or we are repelled but whatever the outcome is, "good" or "bad", we create a terrific force in each other's lives and we really don't know what we mean to each other. We push, we pull, we effect. It's that idea that made me rethink the background in "We don't know" - instead of placing three figures against a stark white background, I decided to illustrate reactive lines similar to the reactive lines shaved steel makes when it's sprinkled over dissimilar forces. So yesterday, with newly busted camera in hand, I took a bunch of blurry pictures of me putting new content on the canvas-
|Two magnetic bars set between figures and next to each other, sharing shaved metal that acts as a conduit for their energy - |
like people, emotion, thought and acts.
|Drawing magnetic energy around the older figure like a halo but not like a halo.|
|The lines indicating energy (drawn in pencil) coming up off the older female's shoulder.|
|Magnetic energy surrounds her but it also connects her to the smaller figures....|
as seen thru my poor little broken camera lens.
|Connecting figure to figure. - unfortunately, you can't see the pencil lines and the paint laid down in between the lines, you can only see some blue paint strokes|
|Another blurry photo of energy emanating from their connections.|
|Nice. Do they make cameras that can withstand being dropped by the most destructive me?|
Hopefully I'll have another new camera soon because I'm really excited by what's about to happen with this canvas and i really want to share. The idea of energy and connectedness has given me a whole new angle to approach and finish this with. Psyched!
Videos from my Youtube series Studio 120 that feature the beginning of the painting "We don't know what we mean to each other":
- Studio 120 - #39: We don't know what we mean to each other: http://youtu.be/NYdv6bg6_PM
- Studio 120 - #40: Painting from experience: http://youtu.be/oHpoPvgGubU