Puttering imperfectly

Revisited. Acrylic on canvas. 12×12 Brandi Malarkey, artist. ItsAllMalarkey.com


Sometimes, when I hear a song that for some reason snags my attention, or a new (to me) musical group, I go into compulsive mode and listen to the song(s) over and over…and over. A kind of immersion. Soaking in the music until I can sing all the words and the rhythm becomes part of my inner monologue.
This song was the latest in this pattern of behavior and after a week of near repeat a woman came into the gallery looking to commission a piece for over her couch stating “and I think to myself, what a wonderful world”. Timing is everything, and it caught my attention immediately.

It turns out I was not the best artist for what she had in mind, though I was fortunate enough to introduce her to an artist that will serve her much better. But it still niggled at me, so I ended up doing this:

I spent a week merely puttering at it. Up close, the edges are unfinished, and ragged, and not at all what I would consider up to a standard to sell. It is acrylic on a board I purloined from my husband’s reject pile in the garage, and the edges will give a person splinters. However, it was so lovely to just poke at something here or there, with no deadline, and no purpose in mind, just because I wanted to. I have no intention of “finishing” it as I normally would. It is what it is, and I am leaving it that way. Sometimes that is best. I might hang it in my kitchen, at least temporarily. It is especially important when times are difficult and uncertain, and tears are the norm, to remember there are still tiny little miracles everywhere.

My house is still under construction, and locating an art supply for use generally takes a memory exercise combined with an obstacle course, and followed by a period of excavation. While attempting to locate my heavy papers, I missed completely and stumbled upon this old marker sketch.

I had never managed to turn it into what I wanted (I have several failed configurations). But apparently now was the time, as the sketch turned into this piece for the Gallery 4 August show, “Connections”.

Acrylic on canvas

I haven’t worked with canvas or acrylic in ages, and the piece ended up a combination of high quality art paint, low quality craft paint, and standard hardware store wall paint–because many of my good paints had apparently long since dried out, and that was what I could find.

The only one of my art supplies I can easily access at the moment is my glass, so I have been slowly trying to put in the time to go back and master some of the basics I have either skipped over or imperfectly committed to my brain. Many good exercises giving me a better understanding of glass, but nothing worth showing-yet. I am hopeful that once I am better at it some of my more creative visions may actually come to fruition. In the mean time, every few days I take on small things, just to have something to show someone in case I ever want to prove I am actually doing something. This week’s adventures in animals resulted in some wobbly but cute sea turtles, and some piggy earrings.

Theoretically the foundation construction should be coming to a close, and that will be followed by a thorough reorganization. The bad news is that is time consuming and disruptive and stressful. The good news is that *crosses fingers* when it is done, hopefully all my supplies will be in one (possibly two) locations and easily accessible, instead of a dozen various spots all over the house, none of which are ever where one thinks. In theory, that would also mean I will quit wandering about lost and do lots of amazing art with ease.

Yes, I know. There will be different road blocks. I always have road blocks. But I shall cling to this dream all the way through the next month of shuffling, reshuffling, and general disarray. So you can pretend to believe me in support. 😉

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