Monday, July 26, 2010

Blue Voodoo

“Its barely blue”, she muttered at me as I walked into the auditorium. She was standing too close and I was startled. I looked down at my own shirt, gave her a contrite a look, and continued walking. This was the first time the principal of my high school had spoken directly to me. I don’t think she knew my name. But she knew my shirt was not blue. It was a grey collared shirt, with only a hint of blue. I was, just barely, in uniform, which left me mostly out of uniform. Also, it was known, that blue was her very favorite color, she wore it every single god-given day.

A year later in my art class we were drawing and painting portraits. I wanted to do a portrait of our dear old wrinkly principal, who everyone seemed to love, but I really didn’t. It was uncharacteristically brown-nosey and gutsy for me to want to do this, but her face was so interesting. Also, at that point, I knew I was good. She would know my name now. I marched down to her office. She sat across from me in a chair, in her almost nuns habit, which was really just a habit of wearing the same color every day. I sketched her face, it seemed young and old at the same time, with tracks of disappointment running every which way across it. I was working quickly and nervously. Then, she moved her head. She was falling asleep in the chair. I didn’t say a thing. Maybe she needed a nap. Of course she needed a nap, poor old lady. I finished my drawing. It looked very much like her. We exchanged pleasantries.

I went upstairs to the art room to turn my drawing into a painting, one that would hang in her office for years to come. I would be famous. Sort of. I decided to paint her portrait in cool blue hues, because those were her favorite and because I had to do my blue contrition. I worked it and reworked it, with colors ranging from out-of-the-tube royal blue to the yellow-grey of a bird feather to soft metallic greens. Something was emerging. Something very strange. I put more paint on, painstakingly doing her eyes so they burned cold with equal intensity to her actual eyes. I stepped back to look at it. She looked very very ill in my painting. What had I done? I had particularly messed up her shoulders. Desperately, I cut the painting off at her neck. Now, I had a sick and intense blue head of my principal and it looked very much like her. I frantically pasted it on another piece of white paper. Then it looked something like her blue head on a plate, minus the plate. And maybe in the back of my mal-adjusted high school mind, that is just where I wanted her. That painting never saw another face, blue or otherwise.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Camping at Mongaup Pond

We went camping this weekend at Mongaup Pond, Livingston Manor, NY. Story to follow. Click on the photos to enlarge.