The Greek gods were so human. I love them. They make me feel so superior, while lazily avoiding life-threatening quests. If you have kids, you've probably seen Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books. I like the way Rick captures the humanity of the gods: haughty, selfish, spoiled, sexual, jealous, vain, and every other elevated and base emotion. Rick also wrote about Roman and Egyptian gods, but they just don't speak to me at the same level. They're more into law and order and being god-like. The Greeks were just plain raunchy and fun.
The latest book I'm reading is Drawing Blood by Molly Crabapple. I think she would have a hell of a good time with the Greek gods. She supported herself in art school by posting risqué photos of herself online, nude modeling, and dancing. She got into burlesque entertainment, which strongly influenced the subjects in her art. She's also into social activism and travel. It's an interesting read with interesting art. I'm surprised I found it at my small and conservative local library.
Molly writes of her struggles to make it in the art world. She's finding success by paving her own path and excellently using social media. Good for her. Her energy makes me feel ancient and tired. Like I said, I want to be lazy and avoid quests. After all, I've been on my art quest longer than Molly and have had more fights with Gorgons. Sometimes a successful quest is continuing to put one foot after the other.
I like Molly's expressive style, but I've been in an ultra realistic mood lately. I sometimes wonder why I'm doing it since nobody will pay me enough for the time I spend on these things, but it's what my heart wants to do right now. One thing I've discovered is that when I fight what I want to do nothing good happens. It's like my internal creativity seizes up. Maybe there's a good reason for me to contemplate the end of a toothbrush? Maybe Molly will inspire me to use it to flick more paint on a canvas?
The art I've been making for me lately has been art therapy. I need the realism to make me slow down and really think about things. This painting is the result of a challenge someone gave me to paint something just for fun. I didn't look very far for the subject. It's just stuff in my desk drawer. At some point I started thinking all I was doing was exposing my messes and hanging them on a wall instead of hiding them in the drawer. I had to push through my reluctance to finish it, and now I'm happily self-satisfied that I did. I'm also thinking it was just a gentler therapy than the last couple of paintings. Exposing our internal messes can make our work (and ourselves) more interesting. The real myth these days is that everyone should put on a perfect, photoshopped face to the world.
I'm also noticing that I'm not being as nitpicky as I was in the past. I painted my eraser very quickly. If you stop to look at it, you can see I didn't fuss it to death. Yet, I kept trying to pick it up once it was painted. That's plenty realistic enough.
I've got an illustration project due next week. I think I'll do some Molly-inspired paint splatters on that. There's room for everything and all creative expression is good.