9/25/09 Extreme Weather and Working on “Seam Study”

Cindy levitating over a hole

Cindy levitating over a hole

Missing Factory Floor

Missing Factory Floor

9/25/09 Extreme Weather, Working on “Seam Study” —–

Today was the first day I had to wear a sweater which bumbs me out.  From here on in I add more and more layers of clothing.  By November I end up looking like the abominable snowman.  I didn’t paint yesterday because it was too dark and rainy.  It is as if Saint Louis gets sinus infections that last days–only in the form of cloud coverage.  Clouds are dark, low and linticular with texture like mucus.  I painted but the weather looked pretty scary.  It was mostly dark. Occasionally the sun reamed through like an antibiotic but the infection took over within minutes and it went back to pitch black with golf-ball sized hail that dents cars.  I’ve only seen this extreme weather living here along the Mississippi.  I think it is because crosscurrents collide with each other-weather patterns either follow up river or flow east.  Fronts fight creating hail like sparks.  My bodyguard was riding his bike when the hail hit.  He got drenched and probably dented.  I sat in my truck.  I was trying to send him telepathic messages to pull over and take cover in the abandoned stockyards en route.  Within an hour the sun reamed through again and colors were prismatic.  We had a double rainbow, which I should have painted into “Seam Study”.   Maybe I’ll do it in a future painting.  When it got hot enough I told my bodyguard to go out in the back lot, take his wet clothes off and dry out in the sun.  I have no idea if he did so but he did disappear for forty minutes or so.  I went to get crackers out of the truck and saw his clothes spread out across it like a clothesline. I considered hiding them but that didn’t seem like very professional behavior. I didn’t bring Buster today because I was worried about possible tornadoes and he would be one less thing to worry about if a tornado showed up.  Last year a tornado touched down here and ripped through the building next door and others down the street.  If I hear those sirens our plan is to go down into the sticky, oil-laden basement and hope a smokestack doesn’t collapse.  Painting went well today despite the drama of the weather.

It was actually a really fun challenge dealing with extreme lighting conditions.  I had to get out the cadmiums, put them away and switch to earth tones, then back to cadmiums and again to dark muted tones… I worked on a little study for “Seam”.  I painted it with a maximum forced perspective, which required standing where there was a crater in the floor. I had to take the plywood off the back of my truck ad carry it inside to cover a hole in the factory floor to stand on so I could paint.  My Bodyguard showed up with two new pairs of shoes-one he bought for $20 and the other given to him by friends (he changes tires with in the morning, before painting with me). Because the weather looked so iffy, I gave him a ride home, as far into East Saint Louis as he would allow me to go.  I took him to where he fixes flats.  He wouldn’t let me take him further.  In fact, he hasn’t shown me the last two places he has lived.  I am not sure if he feels they are too dangerous for me to visit or not.  I’ve seen three of the five places he has lived in the four years we have worked together.

Some of my bodyguard's wet clothes spread out

Some of my bodyguard's wet clothes spread out

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