Jack Frost, a Nano Story 2017

When I sit still I can get an idea for a story or for a drawing. It seems when I am busy or driving down the highway I get more ideas. Used to be in the shower. Now it’s commuting or chopping weeds.

11.06.17 Jack Frost p

The idea of seasons has the connotation of change or exclusivity as in “seasonal produce”. We must be ever mindful of how we alter our world.

 

 

 

All content on this blog is proprietary intellectual property. No use is granted in any format for any reason.

(c) 2017 Lemuel

 

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Writing, Making Adjustments

I write stories and some of them are very short or as I call them, Nano Stories. These are  “imaginary books and their stories” with the entire bibliographical citation  “made-up”.  I write all through the year and I really concentrate on my Nano Stories in November as the time changes, evenings darken more quickly and the mornings are misty and bleak.

11.01.17 Vegan p

Typed words of another era.

I use vintage typewriters, index cards, or small sheets of paper to compose my Nano Stories and most times make the final story for a type-cast that I post online. The clicktey-clack of typing slugs (the letters) striking the paper show up on social media, like in this blog, or on someone’s feed, or on tee-shirts as typed words of another era.

I was approached to make one such Nano Story that was less than a hundred words a bit longer. “You know, fill out the details, involve other characters, and stretch it some, plot twists are always good.”

I reckoned the story was compact and gave all it could in less than one hundred words. I offered to write a different story more likely to fit their need.

“Nope,” this story in question was just the ticket for some ‘filler stories’ in an anthology. I offered several more of my Nano Stories to help fill the ‘holes’ in the up-coming story collection book.

“Nope, fix this one, please.” I liked the polite tone so I set to work fixing my story that I didn’t know needed repaired.

I worked on it for three days on and off. The story would not budge.

When I was next contacted, “How’s that re-write going. Did you get it stretched out some?”

“Nope.”

“Well, that’s too bad.”

“Yep, sometimes if you stretch a story out beyond its intended boundaries the reader will see through it then everyone is embarrassed.”

My story didn’t make the book.

 

As a side note, vintage typewriters have made a counter-cultural come-back of sorts. Will the old machines become mainstream? Let’s wait to see. The Revolution will be typewritten!

11.03.17 Coal Hogs Love Robots wm

Type-cast version of a Nano Story. The stories involve the use of “vintage” typewriters.

Be Limitless Stray from the Path

The quickest path between two points is a straight line. In a crowded world that is nearly impossible.

I like the winding path. Un-enforced and edge-bumping ways tickle my fancy and are traceable only by having passed by that way.

path-winding-graphic

Stray from the path and be the explorer; sail for the edge of the map; do so with a kindly spirit and merry wonderment. Strive to overcome prior training.

I am sure of a shrinking list of propositions, like efficiency, production, and patterned recipes for success. I am friendlier toward my imagination and what I make when I ask:  “What if I?”

It is alright to stray from the path in Art. Meander in concept and in practice raise the hackles of design.

Fine but how to do all this “straying” and “raising of hackles”?

I suggest give up excuses. Then, consider each new project as an adventure; one that you make. Eliminating excuses means you have to perform. Excuses hold Artists back. Replace excuses with being limitless.

Limitless

Being limitless means experiment, explore, and expand a given method. Re-focus design, methods, and propositions, or generating more “What if’s”. In short it means give up relying on: “I can’t.”

  • What other tools work? Inventive.
  • What am I truly seeing here? Adaptative.
  • What if this material or method were used as if it were…. [fill in the blank] Experimental.
  • Transfer one set of learning to a new problem. Thinking.
  • Make a new path. Keep your promises. Responsible
  • Instructions are guides not shackles. Authentic voice.
  • Personal experience is the real and the imagined. Placing You in the Design.
  • Starting over is strength. Purposeful.
  • Be thankful for serendipity. Happy accident or unconscious play.
  • Put the “you” into your Art. Make your art a production, featuring your authentic voice. Produce your Art.
  • Create your own projects. That is how you can be truly Expressive.

Becoming Limitless

Back to the allusion of getting from point A to point B in that straight line method of efficiency. In my design I intend to make point B because I can.

Fables & Tales, Fox Amongst Hares

fox-amongst-hares-petroglyph2-non-flashy

Fables tell us about who we are and how we came to be. They give us a shared basis we can use to know more about the world. In many cases Fables tell us about the world yet to come, the passage of time, and our generations as a people.

Tricksters and jokers have been our teachers for many generations.

This painting is a design for a small engagement and it will be a stage set for telling Trickster Tales.

The painted set will be on fabric with suitable lighting from behind the painting.

I want to invoke a night telling around a fire as may have happened when the original artist made their marks.

 

Mallory, First Year Teacher, Makes a Chair

Colorful Chair

Mallory you are already extra-ordinary as first year teacher in a new school– that kind of new as in it has just been built new. How do I know you are already exceptionally impressive, because you are seeking to make your own brand, something recognizable and memorable, and most telling, your trademark has meaning.

You looked at me and started the conversation with a question, “Are you a painter?”

I was in the art supply part of a big box store. I had brushes and paints in my basket.

I thought, being a painter is what I used to hear around the holiday dinner table when the folks referred to how someone in the family earned their daily bread. I smiled at the old-timey reference.

I said, “I am an artist.”

“That’ll do.” You were emphatic and asked me about painting a chair.

Painting a chair? A 3-D chair you sit on or one in a painting?

You smiled that teacher smile. You are good, very good.

You wanted your classroom chair to be special, to stand out. It was a rescue from a thrift store and you knew you could make it sparkle.

Why?

Because you will love what you will be doing, teaching, so much in a chair that is full of colors and shapes. It will engage the students’ imagination. It will also make a statement that the learning space is a special space. Therefore, you pupils must be so special too.

It’ll give you a certain dignity too.

Dignity and charm, two good allies for those who dare to teach others.

Mallory, I see you sitting on a stage in your special colorful chair in fifty-years surrounded by your pupils and former pupils. They will be honoring you for your service as a fantastic teacher, a role model of the highest quality.

You will begin your speech recounting your years as a teacher by telling your admiring audience, “Let me tell you about my chair and how I made it.”

You will tell them about your fabulous chair and your extraordinary life.

And they will marvel at you all the more.

I am pleased I was able to marvel at you when we had our brief conversation and how we searched for just the right colors for your chair. I enjoyed your vision and your ideas. How creative you are.

Thank you, Mallory. You touched something in my soul.

I Artist, Sometimes I Open the Box

Cigar Box of Inspiration left flip1

Urban archaeology: A find whilst junking. It was under a 1964 scrapbook.

 

The following good questions are about “how ideas originate”. And my, with hope, helpful attempt to give a “full” but direct answer. These are perennial questions. I like them. I wonder too. I should never get tired of hearing them because they are wonder questions. How does one go from ‘nothing’ to ‘something’?

 Q: So, what inspires you?

A: What does and what does not.

Example: Doodles do inspire me. Being part of rush hour does not inspire me , which is a personal epistemological squib.

 

Q: Where do you get ideas?

A: By thinking.

 

Q: What was the most recent time you were inspired?

 Short

A : Today, when I looked inside an old cigar box.

Long 

A: I scrounged a fifty-year old cigar box with a few pencils inside. I sharpened a blunted stump of a scared and pitted half-inch round  red pencil. I doodled with it in a scrap paper practice pad I keep handy. Then I got excited with the doodle and now it is going to be a color drawing.

So, the most recent time I was inspired was today, when I looked inside an old cigar box. I wondered if any of those vintage pencils still worked.

At least one of them did still work.