My husband and I paint back to back in our home studio.
We listen to music, we talk to each other..
and we talk to ourselves.
“Why are you still using this brush?” I scold myself in disbelief.
“#$%*@! Yes, yes… oompa loompa!” Richard shouts enthusiastically.
It is a strange disjointed conversation..
punctuated by wordless grunts
and a variety of hoots
howls and whistles.
We are still in the same room
but we are gone.
Lost in our own worlds
just as it should be.
My husband and I keep a journal next to our computer.
Whenever something makes us laugh our heads off
we write it down.
we read from it
and crack up all over again..
It is our collection of laughter.
My husband and I volunteer as art teachers
for a group of inner city kids in downtown Phoenix.
One evening, we were joined by a particularly shy little girl.
Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper,
she whispered that she couldn’t think of anything to draw.
I asked her if there was something she wanted me to draw.
“A snowman!” she said, touching the picture of Olaf on her t-shirt.
“Okay,” I said – rising to the challenge..
“I never drew him before, but I am going to do the best I can.”
The girl watched me intently.
A few minutes later, I showed the little girl my drawing.
Smiling, she looked down at her blank piece of paper
and announced with great conviction,
“I am going to draw an ice cream cone. I never drew one before
but I am going to do the best I can.”
She drew a wonderful ice cream cone, covered in sprinkles with a cherry on top..
and after that, she drew the picture you see above.
I thanked her
and then I got something in my eye.
Recently, my husband Richard participated
in a 48hour Create-A-Thon held inside a church.
As the name suggests,
artists were given 48 hours
to create a work of art
inspired by a specific theme.
Richard has done this before.
Actually, this is the third time.
I sat in a nearby chair, happily drawing pictures.
Occasionally, people would look over my shoulder
and ask why I was not participating in the event.
I am a slow painter.
I like to linger over my work.
Perhaps if there was a 480 hour marathon,
This is an actual conversation
that took place
while my husband and I were painting.
Michele: “I will not modulate my highlights. No, I will not. I will not blend it into the color behind it. I will not swirl my brush in it. I will use a hard, white mark and leave it alone…
Richard: “That’s bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.”
Michele: “Fill your hand you son of a bitch!”