Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Play Meander Smoosh
I've spent most of the winter in a writing cocoon, bundled up in fleece in our chilly little house, lost deep in my own head in a world called Dreamdark. From finishing writing my book (woo hoo!) I segued straight into a new Laini's Ladies line, and once that was done I had a powerful urge to uncap some paint and make a mess. To play! The sketch above is a play-piece in progress, and I'm happy to report I've slathered medium and paint onto it with my fingers, really gooshed it around. I tried acrylic and remembered I hate acrylics, so switched to my beloved oils. Mixed a shade of blue so lovely I want to kiss it. Fun, non-goal-oriented play. But... I have a hard time sometimes keeping my art "play" from transforming in my mind to business. Ideas have a way of blurting out of control, like things created by mad scientists in movies that grow from the petri dish to monstrous maturity in a space of days, then start killing all the scientists. Boy, the leaps my mind makes! One moment I'm dreamily sketching, the next thing I know I'm lost in a reverie of selling Peter Jackson the movie rights while Mattel comes calling for the toy license... I suffer from marvelous, ludicrous daydreams. At any rate, if my little play creation comes out alright I'll post the finished painting.
It's been nice being back in the studio & working in the same room as Jim (he's busy painting vampires right now for a role-playing-game company), instead of hermiting downstairs with my laptop writing -- but in fact I've already begun the mental transition back to my writing schedule. Today I made a pilgrimage to Powell's Books, the best bookstore in the world, and bought another one of my favorite blank books (the lined, hard-bound Clairefontaine books made in France) in preparation for really diving into book 2 of my children's series. This evening, between gooshing paint onto my painting, I also decorated the cover of this third Dreamdark journal, preparing it for its new life.
I don't write scenes in these books, they are just a space for notes on all the wonderful things in the world that spark my mind. One might find in them: Scottish vernacular for marsh plants; Arabic demon lore; definitions of succulent words like "atavism" and "farthingale" and "elodea"; old wives tales; archaic insults like "gobslotch" and "zounderkite", herbal remedies; the word for butterfly in dozens of languages; ideas for crow's thieving specialties, recipes for capturing moonlight in a mirror; fascinating facts of nature such as that the dung beetle can roll 50 times its own weight in poop and that flies pee every 4.5 minutes, wherever they land, and are 10 million times for sensitive to food taste than humans. And did you know that there are 91 species of bats in Papua New Guinea, an island the size of California? WOW! And that "sinister" means "left" in the language of heraldry? That's a sampling of what's in my notebooks. Some of it will wend its way into a book, much will not. I have plans to christen this new book with notes and musing on Chinese faerie tales, also from books purchased today at Powell's, to begin to create a mood in my mind for my next book. (It gives me a shiver of pleasure and pride to write "my next book"!)
I find I am meandering here, and that's kind of appropriate, since I've given myself a few days of meander-permission to do some sketching and some paint-smooshing, before taking that deep breath and sinking into the next lake of work. I hope you are all giving yourselves meander-permission, too, and getting matte medium under your finger nails, or perhaps meeting new and succulent words that taste like lightning and mildew and seed pods, chemicals and moonlight and dusty turbans on your tongue. Or, treat yourself to faerie tales from a mysterious country -- guaranteed to take your mind on a strange journey. Good night!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 11:47 PM