Here’s a random thing that happened recently: I was given a prescription for compression socks because I have an enlarged saphenous vein. Boy are those stockings stretchy! Last week, at a routine exam at my GP, I started removing my compression socks to get an EKG. Compression socks are so springy that one flew out of my hand and like a slingshot, it hit the opposite wall of the exam room!
If one laughs while one is alone in a sterile doctor’s exam room, does anyone hear it? No, just the laugher hears it, I think. Unless the walls are quite thin, in which case said lone laughter IS heard. Here is what I have been doing besides being on/off sick: collage and more collage.
I found the materials for this piece in many different sources. I dug into my puzzle collection for her hair. The background is ripped yellow paper. This artwork was finished relatively quickly. It has elements of whimsy I like and it only took about 8 hours at which time I declared it done. But then I saw the red/white/blue puzzle piece on the top of her head and thought, ‘I’m going to have to fix that…It looks out of place, chaotic. It stands out as being off kilter; lacking something.’ After some thought during which time a few days passed as I contemplated adding balance around the red/white/blue piece, I decided to leave the red/white/blue piece right where it is. This is why: red/white/blue symbolizes the U.S., right? And right now our political climate IS out of place, chaotic, off balance, off kilter, lacking something. The piece is staying right where it is. Maybe it was a subconscious placement. This lady’s eye is from a print of Frieda Kahlo, her mouth is from a book on Native American art, her skin is out of an AVON book. She holds one of those deli tickets that reads: Your turn is A91.
Here is something else I’ve made; that has so far taken 5 times as many hours as the puzzle head lady! I painted some of it with acrylic paint. It is inspired by the “ME TOO” stuff going on right now; at least I assume it is, sometimes I don’t know why I do things. I had trouble with this one in saying what I wanted to say… The faces around the edges (except for Trump, top-left) are for the most part, from a Walter Foster vintage sketch book and some of them coincidentally resemble despicable characters from my past. You will see that Walter Foster (who died in 1981 and drew these men) signed much of his work with his initials which are: WTF. Isn’t that the coolest thing? I thought it was fitting to include that in this artwork.
The face of the shattered woman is painted a little with acrylic and is designed from the WTF sketches (her eyes, her mouth taken from 2 Different sketches of women) and her skin is from a doll-collecting book. The tree limbs are from a coloring book marketed for adults; which were of course black and white so I painted them. The cutting for this piece took a lot of time and precision as you can well imagine. I used about 8 different trees from the coloring book and after cutting out the limbs, formed them in this arrangement and painted them.
That man. The drawing Walter Foster made many decades ago, as seen here- the guy with the mustache. It makes my insides scream loudly: Yeah, me too, creep. I’m putting this aside for a while so I can look it with fresh eyes in a few weeks!
I have been doing things other than collage too. I recorded a podcast with Spectrumly Speaking; which should be posted in a week or so as of this writing. I was worried about the way my voice cracked, worried I sounded unnatural, worried about sounding nervous, because I was, which I figured would in turn make my interviewer and also the listening audience, nervous as well. I expressed my worries to Carl Sutton, co-author of a book I had some writing in; called Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood. I told him I did not think I’d be able to listen to the podcast (and my voice) when it aired. This is how Carl responded:
… I think that your finding it difficult does nothing but add weight to your / the recordings legitimacy and authenticity. If you had found it easy and everything had gone to plan you would feel better about it, but I would think talking about struggling to talk is made more powerful by struggling to talk…...
I will listen to it, even if you can’t 🙂
Like me, Carl HAS struggled with selective mutism too. It’s always nice to have other perspectives. Anxiety appears to be at the core of Selective Mutism. Recently I saw an article on LinkedIn about “anxiety cells.” The article was about stigma and anxiety and the etiology of anxiety in the brain. Ironically, I find it hard copying links from LinkedIn so I have not included that article’s link here. As a comment on that article, I posted this on LinkedIn:
If brain imaging existed for these hippocampus anxiety cells, my scan would be absolutely gorgeous with them!
NOTE: Being a visual thinker, after reading the article and viewing its accompanying photos, I imagined a scan of my brain, lit up with anxiety cells in colors like sparks, like fireworks and tendrils and I thought, how uninteresting my brain/anxiety/scan would look if there were NO anxiety cells, which in my case would definitely not be the scenario!
Randomly speaking, I have a few thoughts about “the football game” (Superbowl) which happened recently. Firstly this, a recent Jeopardy program aired with an entire category on football. You could’ve heard crickets, as the saying goes, because the contestants could not answer the football questions.
“MY PEOPLE!” I thought…
Interesting how so many people found it odd that some people have no interest in sports. Just like some people have no interest in cars, or in art. I mentioned online recently that non-sports folks should throw parties too, on “Superbowl Sunday.” If I were to do this (and I probably wouldn’t, because I would have more fun in the planning than the attending of said party), I would research what the colors were for the Superbowl teams playing, then I would look up the opposite colors on the color wheel and these colors would be the theme for the Super-Non-Sports-Sunday party!
Well, I’m not one for a party. Honestly, I can’t be the only person my age who can count on both hands and have fingers left over, as to how many times I’ve been in a bar. But I don’t view every occasion as an excuse for drinking. It’s Friday, it’s Saturday, it’s Superbowl day, it’s so-and-so-day, time for drinking! That’s not me, (I always feel like drinking to excess is disrespecting my organs) but I digress.
I will leave you with one more collage I finished last month, entitled Po and Me. Mister Po is my 17 year old cat and it is hard to believe that we have been through so much together. He is truly the sweetest cat I have ever had.
I have changed the hair on this collage, I’ve just realized I have not taken a new picture of this since I amended that area of the art, but you get the idea how it looks.
My household recently introduced a new member to the family- a very fluffy kitten born on 11-11. Her name is Georgie and she has integrated well.
That’s all for now! I will close with a CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS. Please email me at PODSartofautism@gmail.com and I will interview you (just a few short questions), so we can add you to our Art of Autism: People Of Diversity, Speaking page, with a link to promote your art or interests.