August is my favorite month of the year. For many reasons; one of which is because August 7 is only the half-way point of Summer, which feels weird because my visceral experience of August is totally final, last, end-of-Summer. I feel as if I spend the month of August frantically assembling my last chances of the season. So August has just the right amount of loss and whimsy to make me happy. That’s why it’s my favorite month of the year. It’s so deep.
So I make it a point to take long slow walks on August mornings, getting a good long look at what I’ll miss most when it’s Winter. This weekend, I walked down to the library and back — about a two mile round trip — looking for subject matter. (The subject being August.)
I promise you that none of these photos were staged. But they do look too perfect to be true, don’t they?
Even the pillows look like props.
If I ever painted this scene, it would look so fake. Does anybody really live like this? Does the family ever come out here and set in the wicker furniture and tell tales about Summers past?
My guess is “No”, because when Ma sets in this here rocker she doesn’t have a handy place to set her Long Island Iced Tea.
This is the kind of scene that appeals much, much more to me as an illustrator:
First of all, how can anybody resist a still life that includes a parcel on the door step?
And secondly, who can notbe compelled by the disinterested gaze of the house’s watchcat?
(That cat was actually sitting right next to that little package when I first spied this tableau, but by the time I raised my camera for the shot the little bugger had wafted off to the sideline. But when I paint this scene, I’ll put him back where I found him.)
And as I stood there, snapping my photo of this doorstep, I noticed out of my peripheral vision that I had attracted the attention of another member of the household:
And half a block up the street, I came across another photo op that is too, too perfect; a scene that I find very appealing but is way too good to be true. First, the house had a killer wrap-around front porch:
Yeah. Life isn’t really like this, is it?
I mean: who gets mail anymore??
Here’s what I want to say to Real Life: Please. Stop being so cute. I can’t get any cred if I report this stuff. I need life to be ugly, and harsh, and “gripping”, and “taut”, and “emotionally raw” if I want people to take me seriously as an ARTIST.
By the end of my first August Walk, I was in such a foul mood about my future as a creative soul that I almost didn’t bother taking a photo of the latest update of the Blackie and Dudley On The Stone Wall situation.
This is Blackie and Duds fretting over Standard and Poor’s downgrading of the United States’ credit rating, so I don’t have to.
In fact, I think I need another long August walk if only to keep my mind off the economic apocalypse.
What are you doing these days to ward off the pointlessness of existence?