This is Alfie. Alfie’s picture made me snarf coffee out my nose and all over my screen. You know, in a good way. If Alfie didn’t live in England and the Handsome Guy wasn’t so incredibly allergic to cats and the woofie desperately afraid of cats (and thunder), I would totally sneak into that garden and nab him. Totally. dude!
So be warned, Alfie’s owner (Posy)! Your cat is incredible nabbable (is that a word even?!) I am coveting him from afar.
We’ve entered the dog days of summer. We lucked out this year and July was not as hot and humid as it normally is, but it looks like it’s going to catch up with us this week. Fortunately, Finny J. and I have our sumer cooling rituals down pat. Primarily, this involves me hosing her down in the back yard with the mist setting prior to our early morning walk, spraying until she’s a dazzle of diamond droplets, beaded brightly, and the hosing her down good and proper when we return. We try to stick to the shady areas and I tote along a giant thermos of water too, but she rarely drinks it while we’re out there. [ Insert the old "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink" proverb here. ] I wish it would rain… we could use a really good soak around here. Everything is parched and brittle and straw-like after weeks and weeks of minimal moisture and all Finny’s swimming holes have dried up. The ground is hard and cracked in spots and leaves are starting to yellow and drop, exhausted, from the trees.
Alas… I thought I was being all clever and breathtakingly original and witty and stuff when I reported sadly to Johnny Handsome that I was suffering severely from Post-Potter Depression after having finished the last book last night (snuffling attractively, tears running down my cheeks).
“Quick!” he said “Get that on the internets. That’s really pretty clever!”
But I just did a Google search and um… sadly (predictably) it turns out scads o’ folk have already beaten me to it. In fact, I found an article from 2006 that mentions the phrase. sigh…..
otter writes: “Wee, are you ok? Missing you terribly…”
o dear. it was only a matter of time before this question popped up in my in-box. i’ve been dreadfully neglectful of the internet and the blogosphere in particular.
But i swear to you, hand on heart, everything is fine. I’m really absolutely fine and all else in my world is too. Honest. No need to worry.
I’ve just been… I dunno. Submerged. That’s a good word for it. First, submerged in work. After fourteen consecutive days where I awoke at 7:00 a.m. and worked straight thru until 2:00, or 3:00 or 5:00 in the a.m. with minimal breaks for doggie walking and food and the occasional shower, I have completed the long overdue comic book on climate change I illustrated for Scouts Canada, plus a number of unrelated design projects.
Last Friday, I packed it all up and sent it off and immediately collapsed in bed where I pretty much stayed, more or less zombie-fied, for the remainder of the weekend. On Monday, I arose again, in accordance with no scripture, braving the fearsome heat that sent all other living creatures scuttling for their air conditioned crevices and caves and drove to the art supply store where I stocked up on some much needed tubes of paint. I have since been submerged up to my neck in blank canvas syndrome, wherein you stare determinedly into space and try vainly to imprint something of meaning and worth in your mind’s eye. And then you stare at some different stuff, without registering any of it. And then you stare into space some more.
I am sometimes distracted by So You Think You Can Dance, occasionally pestered into presence by Miss Nudgely, she of the nudgedy nose and demands for attention, and have been roused considerably by purchases of flora (pink lisanthus and white snapdragons this week). I have made some kinda feeble forays into my sketchbook and dabbed some Phthalocyanine Blue (not nearly as toxic or medicinal as it sounds) about on a sheet of illustration board, but mainly…. I’ve been blank canvasing.
blankity blank blank canvas! blank blink blank canvas. Can Vast. lank can. blah blah blank sheep…
you know, like that.
and my plan is to continue doing this for the rest of July. Or longer, if I can. I am blank canvasing mightily, hopeful something incredible will manifest itself, hopeful that the blank canvas will soon fill.
but… oy. It makes my head hurt, quite literally. It’s taxing, this blank canvasing thing. It’s hard and sort of exhausting and in some ways kind of demoralizing, but exhilerating nonetheless. It feels at once supremely lazy and self-indulgent and yet incredibly disciplined and rigourous.
All a part of the process, I keep assuring myself. It will come. It will. Really.
In the meantime, perhaps some Baskin & Robbins Rocky Road ice cream will get things moving again. There is much solace (and inspiration!) to be found in ice cream, I am told. My predispostion toward lactose intolarance is the only thing preventing me from exploring that fully, but I make brave and frequent forays in that direction regardless of the consquences.
So it’s all good. It is. It’s just kind of a lonely, quiet, almost monastic venture. Kinda like swimming beneath an iceberg.
p.s. the photo above is one I took (one of the hundreds, but one of the very few that actual turned out okay-ish) at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. I am totally in love with the Hall of Biodiversity and the Ocean Hall, I feel passionately that I could totally live there For-EVAH and be perfectly content. As long as they let me share it with the doggity. And mayhaps some chocolate.