Monday, April 17, 2006
Out of Shellac, Damn It
Because the TV is still not fixed (A came home briefly, pressed the channel up button on the remote an additional 400 times and pronounced it broken, then left) and because my carpal tunnel is kind of dire at the moment (I need to stay the hell away from the computer when I am not actually working, particularly away from games that require repeated use of the mouse) I worked on some gourds tonight, and I am pleased. I am also, clearly, clinically insane, because I just spent an hour and a half or so drawing a happy family of cartoon bluebirds, including a lovely flustered mother, two children and a jovial Papa bird (he's on the left,) on a gourd. That is going to be, wait for it, a birdhouse. That hangs outside in a tree. Because I judged the spacing wrong, there's even a white framed window with a pretty much invisible pot of geraniums on it. These pictures are terrible, by the way, and the colors are very off - there is barely any light in the dining room.
I also painted a gourd bowl; one side of it is a Japanese flowering cherry (not a very convincing or good Japanese flowering cherry, but there you have it) and the rest of it is a vaguely Native American looking abstract/landscape design. Funny, the combination doesn't really work so well. I didn't plan for the landscape to look Native American but you know, it's hard to paint anything on a gourd that doesn't end up looking vaguely Native American.
That is why I need the shellac: so I can coat these lovelys with a nice layer of glossy finish, which will have the wonderful dual effect of making them look all shiny and sort of finished, and rendering them if not impervious than certainly much less pervious to the environment. Which is helpful if you're planning to hang them in a tree. Actually, the birdhouse one, unpainted, looked very much like a penis. I thought about painting it as a penis, but then I thought that while it would be hilarious and a great conversation starter (with who exactly did you think? I ask myself? The Marquis de Sade?) to have a penis birdhouse hanging in the tree, the placement of the hole for the birds to go in and out right there on the tender underside of the balls and the necessity of drilling a hole near the top of the penis to hang it might unnerve people and even, god forbid, render my chances of an actual male coming over even slimmer. So, because I am so weird, I painted a happy family of anthropomorphic bluebirds on it instead.
I turned the house upside down looking for the damn shellac but it is gone. I used it last around midnight the night before I left for Charleston, when I was making gourd birdhouses to give to my gracious South Carolina hosts. I know, I know, most people bring a bottle of wine, but most people don't have twenty odd gourds hanging around their dining room either. I, of course, do. They've only been there most of a year; maybe now I will actually start to turn them into "art."