Thursday, September 2, 2010

I need a cabana boy…..

Oh I know what you're thinking. You think I want a young stud with a washboard stomach to run around scantily clad fanning me with palm fronds, bringing me iced tea and slathering SPF40,000 sun protection lotion on my creamy white skin.

Nope. I need a cabana boy to firmly but gently take the paintbrush out of my hand when a canvas is done. And to firmly but gently stand shaking his head in front of the painting hanging in the same room that seems to be shouting at me: just add a little bit of color
right here in my middle -- when that painting has been done for months.

So maybe what I actually needed this past weekend was one of those big burly men in white from the basket weaving factory who discreetly carries a telescoping butterfly net around in his jacket pocket.

What would prompt this sudden realization? Well, I recently had what we'll delicately call a creative moment. Long story short, this past Sunday I finally sealed a canvas I painted over the winter. Then about an hour after I hung it back up over my sofa, I had an urge to paint something new.

I painted a new canvas and ended up with something I love. It's really vibrant and has a lot of movement. I stood and admired it for a while and then sat it off to the side to dry. I found myself deep in creative thought, standing there looking from the freshly painted canvas to the one hanging over my sofa. Back and forth, one canvas to the other ….. and like a sleepwalker….. I saw myself freakin take the freshly sealed canvas off the wall and start messing with it. Well, messing is the right word because I ruined it. And I mean really ruined it. Thankfully, since I was working with acrylic paint, I had the idea of taking it into the bathtub and seeing if what I had added would wash off the sealed canvas. Well, miracles of miracles, it did, and against all odds I dried it and then when I [maybe somewhat inadvisably under the circumstances] added some blue to the finished work, I was really pleased with the result.

I now have two paintings I love hanging in my living room.

But it was a near thing.

The next time I have an urge to paint I'm hiring a cabana boy. Or a robot. One of those with a timer and some sort of sensor that can tell when you've temporarily jumped your rails and need to be led by the hand to a place where you can have a nice quiet lie down. Oh and since Windstorm isn't sealed yet, when I get ready to do that, maybe I'll hire a robot with a laser and a countdown sequence that makes me evacuate the room or be fried after 15 minutes so I won't be tempted to go outside the scope of sealing it. But I still think I'd want one who'll bring me iced tea afterwards. But we'll skip the lotion; those robots have really cold hands.

Windstorm copyright Karen Schindler 2010


Marisa Birns said...

Is there anything you can't do? Windstorm is stunning! Just admire you so much with all your creativity. Your brain cells are definitely not grey. Nope. There's plenty of fabulous color there.

What?! No young stud with a washboard stomach to run around scantily clad. *grumble as she stares at the burly things running around Karen's living room*

shannon said...

I love color! This sweeps me away and would just look perfect over MY sofa :-) Where's a pic of the other one???

Seriously, though, it's not fair that you're a great writer AND a great painter. Geesh!

Karen from Mentor said...

I saw this huge man running in the park last week that I might just [gently]accidentally trip the next time I see him Marisa....he kinda fit the burly description...laughing... but all that's running around in my living room at the moment are the standard troop of flying monkeys. No robots, cabana boys or men in white coats.

Thank you for saying such lovely things about Windstorm. I told Rachel on the phone that I really liked it and part of its appeal was that it looked like a crazy person painted it ... she said [smiling] ..."They did"

I love my kid.

Karen from Mentor said...

giggling at Shannon.... thank you my sweet.

*looks all gleeful*

I thought it would be too much to put both the paintings into the post. But if my arm got twisted enough.... I might...

Ray Sharp said...

Karen, this is so lovely. Abstract expressionism is not easy to do well, to say something new, to create something beautiful with dramatic tension, and you have done it. I see the faces of a man and women just left of center in blue.

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Just wow! Windstorm is astonishing!
I've been so curious to see some of your painting, and let me just state: you're an amazing painter (too, among so many talents of yours)! :)
Huge hugs to you my lovely gifted friend :*

Anonymous said...

PS: My fiancé said to tell you he loves Windstorm too, and he can see trees in a windstorm :)
(Me too!)

Laura Eno said...

Gorgeous painting! DO NOT ADD anything else to it. It's done!

Laurita said...

Wow! I want that in my living room. And a cabana boy too. And the palm fronds. So the cabana boy can fan me and bring me drinks as I sit back and look at my original Karen Schindler from her early sleepwalking period.

Anonymous said...

Twist, twist. I would love to see the other painting too. This post is true. I think we could all use a "cabana boy" or someone who tells us when something is done sometimes.

I am impressed and probably a little jealous that you can write and paint. That is really very cool!

Anonymous said...

I love it! I'd like to see the other painting.

I really need something for my ancient pink-tiled bathroom. You've inspired me to chance picking up a brush. I'll let you know if I get the cabana boy too. :-)

Cat Connor said...

Just fabulous!!!

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Cat. *Big Grin*

@Linda So sweet, thank you.
From what I've seen of your work, you'd have no trouble painting a cabana boy for your pink bathroom. But just fyi? I don't think "ancient" and "cabana boy" should be in the same paragraph. *subtle shuddering*
[It was the speedo that shut the imagination down]

Karen from Mentor said...

I have that "someone" built in for all other things Terre, but for some reason when I paint.....laughing...the wheels fall off the train. Good thing I only get the urge a couple of times a year.

*hugs Terre cuz she's sparkly*

Karen from Mentor said...

You made me grin at the idea of having a "period" to my artistic endeavors Laurita. Those endeavors are less like phases of time and more like hiccups for the brain.

When I paint it's almost always when I'm running on empty in all other creative aspects of my life. Painting is like a reset button.

Seems to be working. I'll know in a day or so...

*holds fingers over keyboard and looks expectant*

Karen from Mentor said...

*puts hand on heart and promises Laura not to touch Windstorm other than to seal it*

You could send Jezebel over to watch me while I do it. I think she'd work even better than a laser equipped robot.

Thank you for saying my painting is gorgeous.

*smooches Laura*

Karen from Mentor said...

Estrella, I'm so happy to have you home and back in my thread. It was weird while you were off galivanting.

Look in the bottom right hand quadrant and see if you see an orange figure striding into the storm. It looks like an orange oak leaf, or a person with a visible spine depending on how you look at it.

[this is's like "Where's Waldo?"]

Tell your main squeeze thank you for me.

Big hugs!!

Karen from Mentor said...

" create something beautiful with dramatic tension, and you have done it"

Ray, that just knocked my socks off. Thank you.

*Huge smile*

That Neil Guy said...

I wish George Lucas had been as wise as you. To overexplain, he should not have tinkered with his finished masterpiece, the original Star Wars, and just moved on to a new canvas.

Karen from Mentor said...

Oh man, no explanation needed... you had me nodding at "George Lucas" ... The last time I was that horrified was when Ted Turner colorized Casa Blanca.

pegjet said...

I'm in the 'let's see the other painting' camp.

Astonishing work and wonderful story.

Karen from Mentor said...

I like the let's see the other painting camp peg. It just so happens that I have a second cabana boy story that I've been meaning to tell for Marisa. Hmmmmmmm.... I think I could work the other painting into that one.

*looks thoughtful*

Thank you for the "astonishing" that delighted the heck out of me.

Anonymous said...

Awww, you're so sweet :) It's good to be back!
And yeah, I can see the leaf or spine. Love all the interpretations this leaves room for :)

John Wiswell said...

Hold on, you painted this in addition to writing this? Both have such obvious energy, but I'm left envious for the talent.

Kris said...

I see no reason why you can't have the palm-frond fanning, sweat tea-bearing, scantily clad cabana boy who ALSO stops you from painting when you need to. And who knows- if you are doing your painting outside for inspiration, the SPF 40,000 might be useful as well! Hire a cabana boy who multitasks!

Karen from Mentor said...

Ah the obvious draw back there Kris is I'm pretty sure cabana boys don't work for free.

A luxury item for me is socks without they're giving away free cabana boys when you buy grapes at the store...I think I'm out of luck. *sigh*

PS: I loved your freudian slip. I know you meant sweet tea, but I like sweat tea better. After all what cabana boy can't be improved by working up a little manly glow?

Karen from Mentor said...

Thank you John. That's so sweet of you to say.

*looks pleased*

ganymeder said...

I love the blue in Windstorm. It really sets it off!

And I think it's true for any creative endeavor. You're never really finished,and usually you end up having to force yourself to stop *tweaking* it.

You're very talented.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Cathy,
*looks delighted* Windstorm is my first painting with red in it, and it has the most movement of anything I've ever painted.
[the two might be interconnected-I'll have to ponder that for a while]
I couldn't be more pleased with the finished result. *repeats over and over..there will be no tweaking, only sealing*

But I'm glad I tweaked the other one...she says sheepishly...laughing...

Thanks for taking the time to stop in and comment. It's always nice to see you.

Gracie said...

You are a talented woman, Karen. That painting is gorgeous.

Don't touch it. It's perfect the way it is. I mean it.

I want to see the other one, too.


Cathryn said...

Windstorm is spectacular! (And thanks for the entertaining story as well.)

Karen from Mentor said...

Thank you and you're welcome Cathryn.
*Big Smile*

Karen from Mentor said...

Awwwwww Gracie,
You say the nicest things.
*looks tickled*

The other painting has a totally different flavor.

Speaking of should see what I can do with pudding. Oh and mashed potatoes. That's a fun medium. But depending on how much milk you put in, potatoes are more for sculpting than painting. But the best part is you can eat your mistakes.

[People are going to be scared to take me to lunch now...laughing...]

Big smooches!!

KjM said...

"...I want a young stud with a washboard stomach to run around scantily clad fanning me with palm fronds, bringing me iced tea and slathering SPF40,000 sun protection lotion on my creamy white skin.


Nope? Whaddya mean "Nope"???

Lie down dear and rest. You are clearly ill. :D

By the way, that "Windstorm" of yours? Damn, you're good! (And I stole it for the background on my Mac.)

Karen from Mentor said...

Laughing...ok, ok, yes I do want those things Kevin, having them just wasn't the point of this particular story...

Estrella told me yesterday that she's using Windstorm as her background too. I couldn't be more pleased that it spoke to the two of you enough that you want to live with it on a daily basis. *beams with pleasure*

And by the way, I sealed the canvas without incident this past weekend. So everybody can take a breath.