It was a daunting trip, going back to that flat, to a piece of distorted history, distorted by distance, time and many inexplicable events. It was difficult from here, so many miles away and with such a wide gap between my me and other people's me, my version and other people's, it was difficult to face such a potential flood of feelings. What would I want to rescue from my past? Nothing really, some memories, perhaps, the essence of me, the thread that we call conscious life, but nothing physical, no weight of objects to pull me down... except for one pen, that I never got to use. I knew it was in the drawer, next to my bed and I wanted it, and I thought of nothing else, for days, for weeks. Now it's here on my desk, in my present life. Here, to share with me some magical moments in the future, create sketches and look forward to harmony and joy.
Sometimes I like giving myself silly challenges, and experiment with things. So today I did two paintings. The first is a panda that I copied from the great artist Liu Haisu. I used a Chinese brush and... soot. Yes, you heard me right. I put a spoon on top of a candle and... voilà (Don't burn yourselves or singe the brush like I did.) The second is even sillier. It's a flamingo from a photo I took a while ago. And the paint used is... the ink of dried gel pens. Snip the tubes (they do tend to fly and splatter on your walls when you do that), put them in a little jar with a little water, shake, and off you go.
My art may look quite diverse, but it all stems from two desires - of living the creative and carefree childhood I never quite had and, on the other hand, the desire that I had so strong as a child, of being skilled at reproducing images that I saw in my head or on art supply boxes. I often get children's art supplies and see how far they can extend into the adult world of expression. I was amused when I read negative reviews of the Blendypens from unhappy mothers who said that their child could not reproduce the pictures on the package. Of course not, those pictures are done by very capable illustrators, not by children. But my frustration as a child turned out to be one of the strongest incentives to my creativity. I love my new invented childhood. You may not be able to change your past, but you can always create images and settings and feelings and stories in your head where you can be any age, any place, doing what you like best.