one day

 

This was  the day before I stopped working. It’s around February 14, 2018. My back hurt so bad and nothing was getting rid of the excruciating pain I’d endured for over 5 years. I remember standing at the elevator at work. Leaning against the wall, I told someone how much pain I was in. In minutes I was surrounded by a crowd but couldn’t tell who was who. A bottle of medication was put in my hand and the words, “this will help you” stuck in my memory. The medication was put in my pocket and I went to the unused office on the third floor. I had to escape from everyone for a while. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to be consoled, I didn’t want sympathy. I just wanted to not be in pain. The office door closed behind me. The room was hot, everyone I work with wants heat. That’s all I feel all day is heat and hot. I hate the heat, that’s why I left Florida. I opened the windows and let the cool February air in. It wasn’t freezing cold but the wind was blowing pretty good. I could hear tree branches snapping in the woods. Then I pulled the bottle of pills out someone gave me. It said “take as needed” so I kept reading. The letters Oxycodone appeared and I thought now way. I’m not going to be an addict but the pain said otherwise. In the mini-frig was a half a bottle of water. Against my best judgment I washed down my first ever non-prescribed narcotic then laid flat on the floor to relieve the pressure from my back. I could hear people in the hallway going about their lives and I could feel the effects of the medication. I relaxed as I laid on the floor. I could hear the wind blowing through the trees. I don’t know how much time went by but my pain was bearable. I sat in a chair and stared out the window. This is what I saw, the trees blowing in the wind. I sat there for what seemed like an hour but in actuality it was minutes. I sat there and recorded the last moments of how my life was then. My final words were sent to my manager, “I have to leave now”, not knowing when, if ever, I was coming back.

 

 

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thinking

I was sketching out some ideas. Afterwards I decided to try and combine several of them. I referred back to a couple of old drawings and put everything together as one. Then it’s sat here for five days. I’ll stop by and stare at it daring to add or subtract, daring to start putting ink over the outlines. This got me to thinking, this is how I think about everything. Everything has to be planned and organized ahead of time. Nothing can be added or taken away without carefully thinking it out. Nothing can be thrown at me after this process and if there is, I stop. At work if there’s a meeting, which I hate, it’s rare that I attend. If I’m given too much notice I over think it and it becomes a huge problem. The thought of doing something out of my normal life flow just flips me out. Last minute changes to plans have the same affect. But anyway, this is my new project #96.

 

#96_a

 

 

#95 – a painting and some random blathering

I asked the surgeon if I could go back to work. He seemed surprised that I asked but signed me off. My employer tried to find someone to replace me while I was gone so long but rehired me as soon as the release form came through to their email. Now I feel like I really owe them for everything they’ve done for me while I was away. They were actually paying for my insurance coverage even though I wasn’t getting paid after using up all of my FMLA short term disability. On top of that they gave me a raise. But I think I made a mistake. I came back to early. I thought I was ok because I got up to walking a mile everyday but that didn’t include other physical motions. I had my regular doctors appointment last week and told her I went back to work and she seemed concerned. She mentioned four to six months is normal for the surgery I had. It’s only been two and a half months for me. After my third week at work I’m certain I’m not ready to return, so after work (and during) I’m taking pain meds. The meds make me active before totally kicking in and knocking me out. But during the active time I’m trying to learn watercolor painting. It’s difficult and possibly one of the harder things to learn. But I’m trying to get depth with layers. The subject isn’t the focal point.

 

#95_rs

 

 

the clock

I got started on the clock last week. I Googled photos of clocks to try for accuracy or just to see if I knew what I was doing. Then I started coming across the mechanisms inside pocket watches and the gears inside. Then my idea turned to adding a gear to the drawing. I’ve never drawn a gear so I had to look up how to. Fuck that, there was too much math involved so I improvised and drew them off the mandala technique. Then I also noticed inside the mechanical gears were layers of them, so adding one gear turned into five. But then my skull was looking too small. This was redone and the lower jaw was added to fill in more space. I was erasing so much plus getting lost in the over lapping gear lay out that I had to use a fine line to keep track of everything. So here’s the beginning of the idea, I’m sure it will change.

 

IMG_20180703_110458229-RS-93

 

 

this new thing again

Back in high school my mom noticed I could draw. I think to keep me out of trouble she bought me a really nice artists set up. When I see the prices of this stuff now, I know it had to have been pretty expensive back then. I was smoking, drinking and just getting in trouble mostly from the boredom of a backwoods town. There was an easel, a large oil base paint selection, a couple of knives, and several stretched canvass’. Back then I had a really good imagination, unlike now. It was probably all the weed I use to smoke. I’m thinking this set up was a Christmas present, my mom’s last Christmas present to me. We were off school for break then too. This gave me time to paint. The first one I painted was a cobra like snake. One of my first watercolor paintings on here was a recreation of that seen HERE. My next was a clock. I worked on this a long time trying to make wood grain in the paint and making the glass lens having a reflective shine. Back then it was like I never had to think things out, they just happened. I’m not sure why I chose a swinging pendulum or I might have changed it from something else. It was the best part of the clock. For no reason the next day I scraped off the paint and put a skull on the end. The time I had painted was 10:35. I kept this painting wrapped up and hidden. This was the time my mom died just a few months later. Life went on and through out the years this painting was misplaced.  A lot of my old artwork was thrown out never knowing I would ever do it again. It had no worth to me, it was junk I had been hauling around for years. But that painting was always kept guarded and safe. At least I thought it was.

So now I’m doing a new one. I take too long to do things on paper now. Probably because I over think everything. The clock I had started a few months ago, seen HERE. It got put on hold for some reason. I finished the clock face finally but it didn’t look finished. After staring at it for three weeks I thought I would somehow recreate my original clock from 1979.

#92b

The problem is I started in the center of the page. This gives me no room for a pendulum. I don’t want to start a new one because I was really unaware how much detail there was even in a simple clock face. Dividing up a circle in 60 even pieces took a little math and some thought. My idea was to put two skulls side by side facing away from each other as a base for the clock. But after a while I figured out I sucked at drawing a quick skull. Two days later and some Youtube classes I came out with my first facing straight ahead which wasn’t what I was after. I had no idea this was as difficult as a clock face either. I fixed it up with my pencils that I’ll be using a lot more of and here’s my first skull in 39 years. (I think)

 

 

#91 – may 2018

 

I’ve been off work for four months. After my back surgery they gave me meds, sent me home and told me people will be stopping by on these days of the week to see how I’m doing. That was a great idea in theory but I lost all track of time, days, dates, etc.

Here’s how May felt to me. This even took the entire month to do, sitting up at my drawing table was too much and had to do everything in short time frames.

 

#91

 

The days overlapped, there was no time on the clock. When I was awake it was like being under water looking up. I could see things but it was all a blur. I’m looking at my computer time and date. It’s 4:11 on Wednesday May 30th, 2018. This threw me off from my doctor visit yesterday. He said to come back in six weeks. At the check out desk the lady was asking me if a certain time or day in July was o.k. and I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know. My answer was what ever she wrote down is when I’ll be there. So today, all day, I thought it was Tuesday June 1st and It was around 11:00 am.