I have a multitude of excuses for why I have not accomplished my dream guitar for this day. Most of them start with “First, you have to HAVE a pumpkin.” It feels like I have been a million miles this week, and that at least 500,000 of them require that I go past the fruit stand, but it seems I am usually too late or too early to get the pumpkin. I am not entirely out of the running for this, however – tomorrow is actual All Hallows, and I have to go by the fruit stand this morning. I’ll see what I can do for tomorrow. No promises. I’m learning not to do that.
For now, I have old barn roofing cut and painted to look like pumpkins. I wish I could say at least that I did that – but it would be a lie. Back in the day when I had a garden store, I bought these – probably at the New York Gift Fair – which is, by the way, reason enough to have a garden store. There are some really amazing things in the section called “Hand Made”…
A beautiful morning. Have to hit the road.
I know, I know. I’ve already DONE wooly bears – but hey, work with me here. It’s Halloween-een, they are orange and black, and the shadows are downright hair raising. I was on my way to put these guys out into the garden – I swept them up from the deck, and they were just so accommodating…couldn’t pass it up.
Of course had to come up with a title for the post and am really centered on the shadows created by my orange and black buddies here – so went (somehow) to David Bowie and “Golden Years” (whop, whop, whop)… There is simply no telling a) how I remembered that particular song lyric, or b)how I remembered that David Bowie sang it…I truly have not heard it in years…it’s a Halloween-een miracle!
The soybeans are harvested. Fall can commence.
I had an actual notion for a guitar this morning when I walked out to the studio. I use a lot of contact cement in my work and as a consequence have an enormous, fist sized, what we used to call a “glue baby” back in the dark ages when, in the advertising business, a “paste up” was actually glued. This was before waxing machines made life easier, and before Al Gore invented the internet and made it easier still. All that aside, I have mad glue skills left over from those days and had every intention of going out there and taking a saw to that great wad of dried glue.
Of course, when I got out there, I discovered that the glue has taken on a personality of its own that I find difficult to ignore. Suddenly, there is this “she” in the thing – who puts me in mind of the cover art on the books my mother used to read – there were either 100 of them, or only one with slightly different art. The author was Georgette Heyer (I think – or something like that) and the story lines all had to do with Edwardian England and girls in white dresses caught in a wind storm in the highlands. At least I imagine this to be true because it was a popular cover illustration. Of course, I could be back to the fact that there was only one book that my mother read over and over. In any event, I could hardly now take a saw to “Georgette” and it would appear that I have to retire her as a tool also.
Which left me back to square nothing for a guitar. So I started rattling around in an unlabeled drawer that could be called “sink hole of unsuccessful projects” except that such a label does not narrow it down enough to make it a successful organizational tool. Actually, this drawer might be labeled “just because you took a workshop doesn’t mean that you can do it” since it appears to be filled with those kinds of unsuccessful projects. This really is a category in my studio.
The early side of sunrise
I write a lot of lyrics. I write a lot of lyrics that need to be burned. But I can’t seem to stop doing it – and every once in awhile, there is something good come from it. But the point is that I write them when they come – which means that they are scribbled on any handy surface – typically paper, yes, but not always.
This morning I excavated another portion of my desk and found a snip of lyrics about ten lines long, out of which I will be lucky to rescue a single phrase – I can be quite heartless when I edit. So I flipped it over into the “To Be Decimated” pile and found, lo! a circle of fifths combined with a color wheel. Really. I could pass this up? I think not.
I don’t smoke. I have never smoked. I’m not particularly arrogant about it, I was probably just too cheap to start the habit. I have plenty of habits on which I spend money. So a smokey film on the inside of my windshield can only be written off as “off gassing” of the various plastics used to make-up a car’s interior. Periodically, as with this morning, it comes to my attention that with the sun streaming through all of the accumulated grime, I cannot actually see the road. I have the tools and the technology to solve this problem. This morning I actually did it. Well defined areas of cleaning are a speciality of mine – but don’t confuse me with too much at a time. Trust me, I am NOT taking that can of window cleaner anywhere with any intent to assault the windows in the house…I will be lucky if I get it back into the cupboard from whence it came…
And then there is this fine architectural detail, courtesy of the internet…
You have to pay a lot to get a signature (yeah, right) color case for your phone. Then you find out that the color wears off. It is annoying, but won’t kill you. I think…and then there are those awkward moments when you are done painting for the day but have not used all the paint on your palette…and are not really in the mood to clean brushes just yet either…shazam! No, not the app. The magic thing…
I’m going to have to work harder
Started again with no clue, but needed butter…needed to trim the butter to fit the dish. Voila! Guitar. I could fill this page with much more – because I can. I cannot, however, see a reason for it.
Off to studio.
When you are in a creative down cycle, it is good to take advantage of a burst when it presents itself – as happened with book club the other night – twice. I mean really, was I supposed to just walk away from guitars being flung at me? It would so offend the raging opportunist in me. Can’t do it. So today’s guitar is a remnant – of a good meal, of a warm and supportive evening. I have no problem revisiting all of that.
But yesterday held an unexpected creative moment as well…something I’ve done very little in my entire life. Tom Adams, a bluesman and awesome musician from Texas put up an instrumental track on SoundCloud asking for collaborators. It is a beautiful piece of music that made me just sort of ache to sing it. So I came up with a lyric and a melody to go along…after all, it so fits the mood I’ve been in the last few days…but is enough to lift me out of it, too.
I whipped my cell phone out of my pocket to take a photo of the cheese ball formed into a pumpkin, complete with jaunty broccoli stalk to find myself surrounded by friends who also keep a watch on 365 Guitars. It was so gratifying to know – I mean, yes, I knew it, but this endeavor remains day after day a personal challenge and I lose sight of the fact that it reaches beyond me. Alright, yes, I know people check it – I will hear from folks who think I may be on the road to missing a day – but, still. It was really, really cool – especially since they all knew of the struggles of the past couple of days. The upshot was, before I get teary eyed over the whole thing, that it took only a minute for all of them to start pulling a guitar together – this plate, not that, candlesticks, yes. They all knew how it was done – and for pure entertainment, it may have only lasted a minute or two, but it has long reaching effects – I already feel more inspired to go forth and guitarify…thanks everyone!
This must be some kind of creatively dormant period for me – the paintings are coming, but sporadically, a new song pops up here and there, and the guitars are hard won each day. I suppose I should expect this kind of thing, but it becomes a habit to create, and a break in that routine seems life threatening. At least from this morning’s perspective. So I went for a walk. It gets easier and easier to beat the actual dawn out the driveway, so there was little by way of light to play with – but the day is promising to be beautiful in spite. It occurs to me that I am able to take in a million images – and maybe that is what this time is really about – a time to reload creatively so that when I go back to the studio I do something new. Alright then. I feel better now.
The year is slipping toward winter, and perhaps it is all part and parcel. The beans have turned and are nearly ready for harvest, and alongside them, the wildflowers are gone to seed as well, stalks standing full of promise for next year, loaded with pods. I’m talking myself into it – everything needs a little down time…I will survive.