Monday, March 30, 2009

Lost Arts and Skills

While my classmates in school were out picking out their prom dresses I was generally on the floor of the gym creating signs and decorations for the event. I could sit like these Navajo sand painters for hours painting free style letters and designs. Only I used tempera paint and a brush. And they lasted until the cleanup committee removed them.

I noticed on my budget for the studio I had included a fee for a sign painter. I know a great one. But in these pressing economic times I just did not feel I could afford him by this May. So I set out to do my own on plywood I had left over from some project and with paint from doing the interior of the studio. At that point I had not remembered all those hand painted signs so I was going to use butcher paper and a ruler and laboriously sketch out the words "Art Studio."

I have been trying to wrap myself around that for two weeks now. But today when I had the paint brush in hand putting on the base color all those hours with poster board and poster paint came flooding back to me. So what if I blow it. It can always be repainted. It only has to be readable. It is only going to be up until I can afford a better one. So with just skeleton pencil marks for placement on the space I began lettering in freehand with brush.

I can no longer sit for hours on a cold floor. The sign is on top of a table. The lettering looks nice. Very readable. When it dries it will get painted with a marine varnish because it will be outside and not in a gym. While painting it I think I remembered every dance I never attended, and every student office I never ran for. I always got invited just to make the signs.

Does that make me a medicine man like the Navajo sand painters? Or just a magician with a brush?


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