Aint That Right, Bus Driver?

On the bus ride through the rain and cold tonight, at various stops and starts along the route from the Central West End to Southtown, I found myself locking smiles and bumping fists with a woman who, at regular intervals, was deriving a great deal of joy from the act of lurching into the center aisle, over and over again and shouting:

“Aint that right, bus driver?”

And each time, the driver would respond, as if by synchronicity through the shared experience of holding one’s own against the rain and rudeness of these glistening city streets. . .replying in the most melodious and throaty of tones: ”That’s right.”

And each time afterwards, the woman would wrap her arms around her own waist and
roll back in the seat laughing, seemingly pleased with herself for having elicited one more positive response from the person in charge.

In response to that bit of repetitive interaction. . .for the whole twenty-minute ride home, between spasms of laughter and fidgeting, I could feel that oddly familiar sensation moving through my skin, sensation that can only be described as being caught between the wish for someone to make it stop and waiting for it to start all over again.  This went on until I pulled the bell cord for my corner…though at times she would mix things up with the obsessive repetition of news flashes and singsong bits of wisdom:

“Everybody thinks Popeye was strong, but really he was a sissy,”

“Read my lips; catch my drift,”

and “Stare too long, you’re doing it wrong.”

At one point, she stopped to unwrap a very large sandwich and fondle it in anticipation, all the while casting her weary eyes down at its wrapper like a prized catch, the bag emblazoned with the name of the priciest gourmet grocer in the Central West End , most likely anticipating the moment when the rain would let up just long enough for her to leave the bus and enjoy it.

But for now, she had found a warm place to seek refuge from it all, no doubt thanks to the means of strangers, the first one with money enough for that sandwich, the second letting go of a transfer pass that paid for the ride. . . followed by the brown-eyed girl behind the wheel. kindly and obligingly saying those same two words over and over again. That’s right.

A loaf of bread, a jug of vitamin water and thou. . .

It was so very wet and cold on the walk to my place and I could feel the rain pelting my pant leg as I gripped the handle of the umbrella to brace against the elements. In a matter of minutes, I could see the stop on the street running perpendicular to my own ride. As I approached it, I realized I would have to raise my umbrella enough to clear the height of a man for whom I could not yield the right of way without taking someone else’s eye out.

And aside from the sound of his laughter as I passed, accompanied by that of the wind and rain, all I could hear in my head was the echo of the broken record lady.

“Read my lips; catch my drift.”

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And the Answer to Yesterday’s Quiz Question Is. . .

Always a Work in Progress

Bringing it all Back Home

I began my last post by talking about cutting and collecting images for collage projects.  Later I shared a photo of a collage, a tiny work  initially crafted as an artist’s trading card (enlarged through the magic of WordPress).  Afterwards I promised to post a photo of the finished pastel painting inspired by the collage.

(I also provided a quiz question but more about that later, I promise.)

“What is it you want to say?”

Our last painting instructor was always asking us that question. .. and to be perfectly honest, I admit I always had trouble answering it. . .

but in the interest of personal growth and self-reflection, I’ll take another scissor point to it.

I guess at some other point, I decided the collage had been an attempt at creating a loose biographical narrative, one that also let me pretend I was someone from a fairytale, someone significantly more graceful and confident than I actually am. ..so perhaps in this way, I am able to re-write my own script somehow . . .and create an image of the person I hoped I could always be.  So anyway, you will notice that I changed the haircolor of the most prominent figure and I also put a wreath of red roses on her head.  . .perhaps this was another wish coming forward as red roses symbolize true love, another thing I would someday like to include in my own story, I suppose.  You might also notice I left out the giant diamond on the roseholder’s hand. ..a pink rose. ..I think that’s  maybe about an innocent kind of love in the language of flowers. . .

I suppose I maybe did it to say something about the way I feel about diamonds as gifts in general.  Pretty to look at. . .and sometimes enviable, but kind of non-existent on my personal to do list (and perhaps that could be a fox and grapes kind of thing underneath as well, but for now I just sort of idealize friendship and sharing a common bond. . .equality I guess. ..and if asked how I feel about it. ..I would have to say that I disagree with the diamond industry’s suggestion that three months salary is enough to show a woman “that you love her.”

Three months of laughter and joyful sharing, on the other hand I believe, really IS something to include on one’s to do list. ..

though I know many women who might think it’s low self esteem talking when someone says that, which I actually can’t deny and yet. .. )   But also I sort of wanted to say that our story continues beyond the boundaries of these modest creations, beyond the limits of what our imaginations can conjure.

Back to the Nuts and Bolts and Whatnot

OK so you might also note in reading the details from the photo that I’m actually sort of cheating by working from grids, which I learned in studying the old masters who practiced this method all the time (I like that word practice. . .because I feel that’s the stage I’ll be in for the rest of my life. . .practice, practice, practice.)  Apparently it’s easier for our brains to read images that carry no pre-conceived opinions formed in our heads. . .

so to in order to accomodate for that, we record our impressions of abstract lines and shapes within the boundaries of these small boxes.

(Recently I also learned that artists who work in photo-realism oftentimes use projectors. ..actually draw and paint in the dark by the light of the magic lantern.)

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And the answer to my quiz question is:

Kaloma, who is often mistaken for the Josie Earp, wife of Wyatt.

Kaloma

Josephine

And as promised, here is the finished pastel painting made from the collage:

First the collage:

And now the painting, shown with closeups and side views:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/75299418/blue-green-pink-orange-fantasy-pastel

Have an awesomest day . . .peace shalom. . .namaste!  Go and create~

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Quiz for next time:  Name the inspirational female artist whose pastel appears taped to my drafting table.  Name the work so much the better!

Hint: Degas made a painting of her holding a poker hand