Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Time for Tom Waits

Every year at this time, this seasonal between time, I spin Tom Waits' song around and around in my head. You Can Never Hold Back Spring is reassuring me again. 

I was messing around trying to refine my skills at hand lettering today. Using thick, cold pressed, high quality water color paper, good ink, and a fine nibbed dip pen, I spent the afternoon making swirls. Trying to make them graceful and uniform was the point. It was practicing with a purpose for a project page. 

More than halfway through, the nib let loose a few blobs. I tried to blot them - unsuccessfully - away. Then my hand accidently rubbed across a still wet letter. Discouraged, I proceeded to finish what I had set out to do. I had wanted to make something pretty, but the results were already disappointing. 

As I filled in delicate spots with water color, it overflowed the outlines. Wait, messy wasn't supposed to happen this thoroughly!

Life is messy. I smudged up the rest of the letters to match. Now they are all uniformly messy. Mud always happens, in the spring that always happens. 

We were longing for it, weren't we? Get out your muck boots, friends. Hip waders for some of you. Wade through it. Get to the other side. There is another perspective. It looks pretty - from a distance.  


Maureen said...

You're amazing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, Kathleen. I needed to read it today. And I had never heard the song before but I think I'm putting it on my mp3 player. And your letters? Beautiful. If you scan them and share them I might be forced to use them on a scrapbook page one of these days.

Anonymous said...

i think the little purple smudgies are nice.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes those smudges and color messes turn out to be the most beautiful artwork, better than you could have hoped for. Okay, not all the time, but -- sometimes.

I love you Kathleen, because you are up to your hips in the muck and mud of life, and you call us to join you in it. To play, and laugh and cry and struggle. I definitely will see you on the other side.

katdish said...

I love that. Some of my best work has come from messes. Beautiful, Kathleen.

Laura said...

I think they are beautiful! And it's just like you to realize the gorgeousness in the imperfections.Kathleen, you help me see better. Love to you.

S. Etole said...

hip boots needed at times ... thanks for the invitation to play

A Simple Country Girl said...

I love the imperfections the best. The very best!

Got got talent, girl.


M.L. Gallagher said...

What a wonderful invitation to get down and dirty with LIFE!

Hugs and yes, You are AMAZING!