Get lost

“Add some of these green shavings first, then put the yellow on top.”

“What about putting something in it, so that it kinda floats on top when the crayons melt?”

“Yeah!  A penny!”

We were about 8 years old, and intently focused on creating an objet d’art in Jenni’s Easy Bake Oven.  Melting a kaleidoscopic pile of shaved crayons in the aluminum pan.  We were pleased with our product, and discussed the obvious sales potential with unbridled enthusiasm.  We would certainly be discovered as artists, and become international celebrities of the art world!

EZ Bake

But it was time to go home for dinner… We didn’t realize until a few days later that we’d ruined the oven, as there was no market for Crayon-Flavored Cake.

Two decades later, i watched my daughter at her “Project Table” in the family room.  Be-bopping to the music in her head, she arranged scraps of colored paper, cloth and glitter* into a collage.  She spent hours and hours at her table, lost in the act of creation.

As we become responsible adults, we stop doing this… thing.  We start to feel pressure to be “good” at it.  We feel judged.  We fear failure.  We become afraid that we are “not good enough”.  So we stop doing it.

We lose something.  Something good.

i first learned of ‘spirited painting’, through blog pal CompuDiva.  The idea is to gather a group of friends, or find a class, and spend a few hours under the gentle supervision/coaching of an instructor painting and drinking.

As luck would have it, a local art studio opened, offering classes and private parties.  Arrangements were made, invitations sent, and food prepared.  Last Tuesday night?  Twenty five friends, and friends of friends, descended upon the studio for an evening of…

Well, most of us didn’t really know what to expect.  “I’ll be there, and that’s saying something, given that I have no idea what this is all about, and the last time I painted it was my bathroom, which took three months and is the shittiest paint job ever. Pretty color though.”

Getting settled, our instructors explained the process.  Some sample prints were available for inspiration, and we were welcome to work from any of the paintings in the studio.  Have a favorite photo on your camera? Print it and start painting.

Some tentative, some brave.  We just started.  An eclectic mix of friends – i wasn’t sure how the interactions would go.  Biker divas.  High school friends.  My new boss and a few other work colleagues.  Breast cancer broads.  Rabid cycling enthusiast with artistic tendencies.

And we got lost together...

This thing… happened.  We weren’t worried about being judged.  About being good.  We just started doing.  We got lost together.  We smiled.  We encouraged each other.

Oh, and we destroyed fifteen bottles of wine and the better part of three pizzas.

Somehow at the end of the evening?  This was on my easel.  i’m not sure how it got there.  i’d been pretty lost for the previous three hours…

i did this...

“We don’t stop playing because we get old.  We grow old because we stop playing.”


* A friend of mine refers glitter as “the herpes of the craft world.”  i would have to agree with that assessment.  That shit gets EVERYWHERE and there is no cure…

On being a 12 year-old boy…

Last week, i was immersed in the sunshine of the south, while indulging in some much needed ‘down time’.  But despite the strong “R&R” overtones, i was also on this trip to perform some small measure of business activities.  Which i attempted to do.

One of my responsibilities at the workshop was to chair a technical session.  Not particularly hard work.  The job requires introducing the session, introducing the speakers, and then holding them to their allotted time.  Upon completion of the presentation, the session chair also moderates a short question and answer session. 

Not rocket surgery by any stretch.

Also in attendance for the workshop?  My posse of Dawg Boyz.  We are known for some raucous “drinkin’ and whorin'” sessions, not to mention a full measure of childish stupidity.  One of our favorite games is “Would you do X?” – in reference to some other workshop attendee.  Can be male, female, or some indeterminate combination, given the huge ‘geek factor’ of our community.

By early in the workshop, we were all in complete agreement about one participant – Dr. S was looking mighty fine!  Not only was she looking particularly hot, she is a charming woman, very good at what she does, and has a smile that will melt high temperature ceramic compounds.  Originally from Germany, she speaks perfect english with a bit of an accent.  We were all smitten – and consensus dictated that she would be particularly effective as a dominatrix.

Needless to say, Dr. S was giving her presentation during my session.  Shortly after she started, i got a message on my blackberry from Dawg Boy #1, known as “Titan of Industry”.

ToI:  She wants to dominate you!  Submit!

daisyfae:  i’d submit in a nanosecond. She can improve my stability anytime. [‘stability’ in reference to the content of her presentation]

ToI:   She said “tightly bound”!  Heh,heh, heh! [“tightly bound” in reference to some electrons she was attempting to photograph or something]

daisyfae:   Gag me with rhodium…. She’s all about the vibrations. [“rhodium” and “vibration” were also part of her talk – i really can’t remember why]

ToI:   With the push of one button….  A whole chain of additional structures grows out of the excitement.  I almost spooged my pants! [She referenced this stuff too.  Clearly i need to pay more attention when i’m chairing a session.]

daisyfae:  She wants me to take off with her…  Fly me, you Teutonic Titwillow!  [She made an airline reference – something about “Put up ze tray table, and hang on, because ve’re off to even greater heights!”]

ToI:  She wants to strap on her geschaften and schluct your schleimfliesch.

daisyfae [shaking with stifled laughter]:  you win.