The sketch for the day is of my Old El Gringo cowboy boots. They are the most comfortable thing I own - even more comfortable than sneakers, socks, or bare feet. I started it last night after a long day. I was "too-pooped-to-pop" so I sat there on my chaise lounge with my legs extended out and my feet crossed contemplating whether or not I should skip doing the sketchbook painting for the day. I thought about my goal of not quitting. I thought about it for a long while. I didn't feel like getting up to paint. I finally felt propelled to at least draw whatever was around me - the closest thing to me, that I loved,were my boots.
This post is titled Old La Gringa. In the past my cousins in Chile have called me "la Gringa". It is an odd thing ... when I am here I feel totally chilena, but when I am not in the U.S.A. I feel totally american. As they say in Chile - "ni de aquí, ni de allá" (translated : not from here and not from there). It has been difficult feeling my way through an existence that floats between 2 cultures, 2 languages, and 2 different kinds of daily life. It is hard to explain to people who haven't been through it. Because where I am "from" has been complicated to pinpoint, I am trying to focus, instead, on where I am going - hence the blog before your eyes with the attempt at reinventing myself enough to live a creative life on a daily basis. In a few days I will be having a birthday (disregard what it says on Facebook about January 1). Although my New Year's post said I would not be purchasing any art supplies, I am having to eat my words. At nearly half a century of age, I feel entitled to eat anything I want - even if it is just words that I am eating.
So I bought this itty-bitty Koi travel watercolor set. It was so tiny I thought I might have to work up a contraption that would hold up a set of magnifying glasses in front of my own glasses just so I could find the thing. As it turns out I am not having any issues at all with it's tiny size. I love it.
It came with a water refillable cartridge brush - a stroke of genius. I debated if it was going to hold enough water to even complete one of my little daily paintings. By the time I was done, though, the cartridge was still half full. "Happy Birthday to me" - I said as I stroked it on my page.
This is not to say that all my efforts at painting my boots went so smoothly. If the painting ever where to get X-rayed they would see at least 50 other pairs of boots that were attempted first. This finished painting is the closest I came to not looking like a surgeon had done a poor job of attaching one of my feet back on after a horrific accident. There were moments, too, where it was obvious that I literally had two left feet. I was so frustrated. I sent Alicia an email discussing my trials and tribulations that I am going through in learning how to draw and paint. Here is an excerpt:
...I am so overwhelmed at this moment trying to keep up with doing a sketchbook page every day that I feel like someone threw me into the deep end of a pool with windows on the side walls of the pool and I keep staring out the windows at everything I could paint but I can't "get at it" and therefore am just holding my breath underwater as the air bubbles slowly slip out through my nostrils. I would come up for air, but I am so disoriented in that pool that I don't know which way is up. That is how I feel and lets not even begin to talk about landscape painting without a case of Depends at the ready...
"Stay focused on the goal", I tell myself : "don't quit."
Until next time
P.S. Why don't you give it a try? ... we can make progress together. I would love that.