Monday, May 31, 2010

Hello Sun-Goodbye Icarus

I'm on a deadline, and have no business blogging. I'll make it fast. Have you ever fallen off a bicycle? Then you know what it feels like to be at the tail end of a deadline. Lack of sleep and hyper focus make for nice hallucinations, but make it hard to stay grounded.

For instance I once pulled a series of all-nighters on an illustration deadline. I went to the client the next morning and with a wave of his annoying hand, he asked for changes. I was too tired to trash his office, so I smiled, left, walked past a bank of windows and started down the concrete stairs. I caught my shoe on the top stair and fell head over heels all the way down the long, stairway. In full view of his office and all his minions. Concrete stairs.

I might have broken my neck, but I was so tired that I shrugged mid air, relaxed, and thought, "Well now isn't this poetic justice and really quite pleasant soaring through the air, as it were...".

The foolishness of Icarus was not that he flew too close to the sun. I would if I could, wouldn't you? I mean, "Ladies and gentlemen, kids, if you look out the starboard window you will notice the sun..."

But his big problem was not ego, wobbly wings, falling, or proximity to heat. His problem was he used lousy glue (made out of goat hooves probably). If he had had Elmer's, or Gorilla Glue, then he would have been fine. Super Glue, maybe.

I am almost finished with a book project that has taken me way too long, and perilously close to the sun. Above is a peek at a design element from the book where I use the sun as motif and metaphor.

One of the ways to survive the blithering economics which attend a difficult deadline is to have a fire sale. I just sold this painting, "Our Town", to pay 1/4 of a boring bill. Goodbye art, enjoy your new home in Texas. Make me an offer, I'm in the mood. I once sold a painting for twelve dozen tamales. They were really good tamales.

HI HO! HI HO! It's back to work I go, da dum, de dum, da dum de dum...


Karin Corbin said...

I can certainly relate to exhaustion from deadlines and fire sales to pay boring bills. Been there, done that.

PVA glue such as Elmers or yellow carpenters glue does melt with the heat of an iron so it sure won't hold up to the heat of the sun.

You can use it to make your own iron on edge banding. Apply the glue to a surface and let it dry. Then use a hot iron on the unglued side to activate the glue and iron it onto another piece of material. Good for collage projects.

A mermaid in the attic said...

He he, you reminded me that in my family, 'liquid nails' (I'm sure you have something like that over there!) is known as 'Gorilla Snot'! Love the sun motif...oh, the 'Green Jack' is finished, come and have a look!

Kat_RN said...

You always remind me of something, this time you reminded me of falling up a set of aircraft steps (I know, that really takes tallent, but I managed it). I was running. Of course I was right in front of a big group of my coworkers. So yes, I know the feeling. Love your attitude. Good luck with the project.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Karin,I should have known that you would be a glue expert. I'll try the iron on technique. Thanks for the tip. Yeah, I don't think that anything on the periodic table would hold up too well up there with Icarus.

Mermaid, Ha! Ha!. I've never heard that one, "Gorilla Snot!" That's a pretty accurate description of the stuff. Strong glue too, thanks for the reminder. I will look for a project to use it on.

Thanks, Kat. Ouch! I feel your pain. And in front of your coworkers too. Ah, the things that keep us humble (and sore).

Von said...

Ah life!Fell in a gutter once while carrying a bucket of stuff destined for a compost heap.It feel all over me as I lay there and suffered the further indignity of an elderly English gentlewoman asking if I was drunk..what at 8.30 in the morning?

Jennifer K. Mann said...

I actually do love deadlines Richard, but not so much the tripping and falling. I once tripped on a curb while carrying a huge paper bag of bagels. I, and the bagels, went sprawling on the side walk in front of a legless homeless man lying on the sidewalk who yelled very loudly "Hey lady, are you all right?" while a group of construction workers watched from the second story of a construction site across the street. Knees and pride were well bruised.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Von, that's a hilarious story. Isn't that the way it goes, insult added to injury. Very funny.

Jennifer, what a picture. It's hard to act composed after a sprawl like that. Humorous now, but I'm sure it wasn't then. Was the homeless guy willing you to spill the bagels? Did you give him one?

Faith Pray said...

I love this! Kind of a mean trick of your client to oil the stairs. Hope the fire sale is a blazing success.

Paula Pertile said...

So glad you didn't break your neck! I've fallen down stairs a few times, so know how much 'fun' that is.
Good luck with this deadline. I don't mind little ones, but sounds like your on a BIG one.
Love the art.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks, Faithy.

Hi Paula, thanks. No it's not fun. Falling down stairs, or BIG deadlines. Ciao.

steven said...

richard why is it that we rarely fall when we're on our own?! i'm on a bike riding down one of the big streets of my town and see ahead and to the right a table load of beautiful women eating and drinking. my attention is so focussed on them that i don't notice that the light ahead of me has changed to red. at the last second i hammer on the brakes and then i remember "oh yeah, my feet are clipped in to the pedals". i came to a complete and sudden stop and then slowly at first and then much more quickly fell sideways right onto the curb more-or-less at their feet. that's poetic justice. sweet post richard. i am looking forward to seeing the new book! steven

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Ouch! I feel your pain, Steven. That is a perfect snippet of life's poetry and weird sense of humor. Did you wave cavalierly at "the table load of beautiful women"?

Zuzana said...

Don't I just recognize deadlines, I just recently had to meet one in my line of work.;) I hope it will work out for you better this time.;)
Talking about falling of a bike, one of our students had a nasty fall today, he looked really bad, and had to have stitches in his side.
I hope your fall required no emergency attendance.;)
Have a great week and good luck,

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Thanks Zuzana. Hope your student comes out ok. Yeah, deadlines can certainly be a pressure cooker.