I don’t know how I do it, but every day I manage to go to work looking like crap. So I went shopping this week, hoping that I’ll get enough stuff that I won’t have to shop again for five years. New duds, top to bottom. I put them on. I go to work. I wonder why I still look like crap, especially compared to the spifffy ladies who gleam with savoir faire.
Then it dawns on me, the difference between them and me.
It’s called An Iron.
Friends, I have not ironed on a regular basis since the ’70s. If you asked me to tell you right this moment where my iron was, I’d have to take an educated guess because although I have seen my iron within the past six months, I can’t really remember where. It’s upstairs, I know. Probably in my bedroom closet.
I looked at my pressed and spiffy colleagues and I pictured me getting up ten minutes earlier every morning to get the wrinkles out of my garb (even the new stuff come with unexpected creases here and there) and I thought, oh the hell with it. Life is short. I’ve got better things to do than iron.
I have reached the limits off my current level of expertise. Meaning that after producing some work for my Damn Rain book that made me happy, I spent a whole day last weekend painting nothing but crap. Such is the price of forcing yourself to learn something new, eh?
Anyhoo. Here’s the good stuff, beginning with my favorite photograph (I’ve shown you this before) of an Edinburgh tea shop in January:
The truth is, that when I took this photo I did not even notice the couple having tea in the window table. I was shooting the room for reference, getting the walls and curtains and the chandelier. it was only when I got the film back that I noticed this touching tableau. It looks like that’s one poignant cup of tea they are sharing.
If I hadnoticed this couple having this intimate moment in this Edinburgh tea shop, chances are that I would not have had the nerve to point a camera in their direction. I’m funny like that. But I just love this scene, and I decided last Saturday that it was time for me to try and paint it.
So I did:
I only wish I could make it more, you know, chiaroscuro. But I’m not that deep.
My next project was recreating the room that I lived in in Paris when I was an au pair in the swanky 16eme arrondisment, the whole damn rainy Winter of 1979. I don’t have a photograph of this room, so I had to paint it from memory, and this is how I’m going to paint all my Rain Rooms from Memory:
Yes, the wonky perspective is on purpose. It’s, like,artistic. Can you stand it? Or is it too twee? Too faux-naif for you? Too damn arty? Too insulting to your work ethic of Make the Damn Stuff Look Like The Damn Stuff?
Funny, but when I remember this room, in which I brooded endlessly cover my love life and my future failed romances and the prospect of dying like a bag lady on some street corner in Camden (I was depressed a lot in Paris in 1979), it actually looks exactly like this. As if I am hovering up in the corner, urging 1979-me to Go Into The Light.
And this is where I stopped being able too paint anyting half-way decent. For now. Stay tuned.
Today’s Picture That Makes Us Happy comes courtesy of my sister in Kabul, who got it from a friend of hers, who got it from a Facebook page out of Japan called the Art of Zaya.
My sister Amy Ujiji is my official Afghan correspondent of Rainy Days, and she urged me not to get my hopes up as there was no rain in the forecast for the next month. And then Lo! Yesterday, unto them dusty fields did water frometh the sky tumble as fierce chunks of ice and then a lot of rain. So I have some expert observation about Rain in Kabul in case I include a chapter of Unlikely Rain in my Damn Rain Book. So cool!
Anyhoo. Here’s your Moment of Happy:
Art of Zaya wrote:
dear my friends this picture is not for sale . not take it by me . just happy to share . we are looking for who is take it . it looks in south Mongolia or inner Mongolia. thanks have a lovely day.
Is not by me to