Well, if to no one but myself, this has been an “interesting” journey—this whole artsy—thingy. It’s become my 40-days and 40-nights trial. I’ve walked through doubt, hardship, self-loathing, lust for success, exhaustion, mystery and fear. You know, like Forrest Gump’s run. Just because I’ve done this before doesn’t mean it’s a clear path to throttle into a full sprint.
I painted for about 12-hours yesterday. That doesn’t mean I was slinging paint for that long. I’m forced to think nowadays. Percolating burns up time. Marinating ideas isn’t fleet. I’ve discovered that in that way, I’ve radically changed this time around—in that, I need to really focus because I’ve forgotten a ton more than I’d like to admit. Ignorance is exhausting. I don’t know how the ignorant do it. But, that’s for another blog.
Here’s what it’s been like for me. I know, it’s another metaphor. You don’t have to say it. Some people hate those things. Have you ever gotten out of bed in the pitch black dark to go to the bathroom? You know you’ve made that walk a hundred times in the light. You know where everything is. Yet, you inch your way across the room for fear of stubbing your toes—hands extended like the mummy in the old horror movies—waving them slowly back and forth until one had hits a wall. Pfffft, then you know right where the light switch is from there. But instead, you shove your hand into the closet and think to yourself, “How the HELL could I be that far off course? Yeah, like that. Now you feel my pain.
I’ll tell you guys something I’ve told only 2 people to date, and oh boy is my good friend, Helena, going to want to slap me for this—the only way to accomplish “a full recovery” that’ll be dazzling enough to re-launch my career as an artist is to take my first painting FAR beyond where I used to take paintings. And, that young f&*$%$ that I used to be, he could sling some paint. So, in that way and many more, I hate my old self.
It’s like being a cowboy in the wild West. Sickeningly, at high-noon, I have to go into the street and face off against my young self in a gun fight. I was stupid enough to slap his face and call him out. The only way I’m going to kill off that little #O$*($ is to outwit him because that kid could paint. But, I can do it. Plus, he was arrogant. In fact, he was so arrogant he used to refer to himself in the first person singular just to watch other people get really irritated. (One day, I’ll tell you about the time in South Beach when a cab driver finally slammed on brakes and made me and Paul Van Aukin get out. The driver made the mistake of asking where we were going. I went on for five minutes telling the driver all the things I wanted to do, he interrupted me to ask, “Who is this Be Forbes.” When I told him it was me ………….. oh, never mind. I guess you just had to be there—drunk.)
Here’s the painting as it now sits. Look, I know I said I wouldn’t post the unfinished painting. So, go easy on me. I’ve got lots of “kibbles and bits” to add. The clouds have places to go. The open bay in front of the boat will be interrupted by marsh grasses. The sun will marry the clouds with the sky. The hunter’s face is missing; the dog needs to be highlighted, the marsh grass needs to be added to the boat, then everything but the sky and water gets shadowed, the control extension to the motor is missing … ducks need to get to flying, the wake and spray need to be finished … and then, maybe, the requisite signature.
I have got TONS to do. Why am I just sitting here pounding on a keyboard? I have got to finish this by Wednesday. Then, who knows? If it’s good enough, maybe I’ll start clearly stating my needs in life using the first person singular.