Monday, August 27, 2012

Better Than "Wash Me"

One of the results of our unexpectedly long road trip this year was the death of Fun Week.By the time we got back, I had to leave for Fargo and Caleb was starting football practice---no time for a week off regular duties and devoted to fun. Sad face. But I was still determined to do a few of the things I'd set apart for Fun Week, even if I had to eke them out one at a time. That is how I came to try my hand at dirty art.

Literally. Like with real dirt.

Ever since I saw this guy on Yahoo, I've had a burning desire to try my hand at it. After all, dust is one thing that I have plenty of!

It turned out to be surprisingly difficult to get my back window dirty enough. It's been so dry that dust wouldn't stick that heavily---it just blew off. Right after our surprise rain storm I thought I had it made. The mud was coating the back window in a beautiful, even layer. I got my model picture chosen and printed out, but then it rained and my canvas had great big water splots all over it. Time to start over.

Having come so close, I wasn't about to let that stop me. I took to spraying my window with a spray bottle, then driving like a charging cape buffalo up and down the roads, trying to stir up clouds of dust. If anyone saw me doing this, I am perfectly sane.


The "canvas",  readied for action.

It was pretty easy to choose my subject material. As a California girl, a little home-town pride is always appropriate. Plus I'd spent my childhood drawing Half Dome and figured a few of those brain pathways would still be lurking in my gray matter somewhere. I was ready to begin.

First I sketched in a rough shape. I found the whole thing fascinating, an art process I've never done before, but one I've seen. Rather than putting things "in", I was having to take them out. Reminds me of a story I heard of a artist who was asked how he was able to make such an amazing sculpture of an elephant. "I just started with a block of marble and took out whatever didn't look like an elephant."

I just had to take out all the dust that didn't look like Yosemite.

About 10 minutes into the process.

After about 20 minutes.

It was actually a lot of fun. I didn't like how a few parts turned out, but all in all, for a first-time effort I think I did  pretty good.

Yosemite dust.

OK, I think I did really good.