Wednesday, October 6, 2004

I am opening the mental box. It has been a long time since I emptied it out. I have been so domestic the last 35 hours, that I haven't been near H's Mighty Machine, til now.

1) Thoughts on cleaning.
**Why cleaning is like drawing**

A drawing begins with observation. The artist looks around, and her attention is grabbed (drawn) by something meaningful or intriguing.

I was cleaning the kitchen this morning (lots of fabulous people over, lots of fantastically dirty dishes). I went from the sudsy tub of water, and running the dishwasher to noticing that the dishwasher vent is spewing water. That made me think that the landlords ought to know (I need to double check, but I think the DW is their responsibility). Our landlords don't respond well to simple verbal commands, so I whipped out the camera and shot a picture, to be included in a future missive. The hope is that they will see the problem and be inspired to take the necessary actions.

Then the artist thinks about composition. She might even lightly sketch out an outline, a few general blobs indicating the direction of the work.

After contemplating the water gushing from the vent, I noticed how slow the drain was, another item for the landlords. I even got a pix of our little geyser. I took a few extra shots, bracketing like a pro. (har har har). The range was revolting as well, so I whiped it off and I got a glimpse of the underside of the hood. (I also tipped it up and brushed the crumbs into the abyss beneath the range-- it communicates directly with the ground-- you can see the dirt of the earth beneath the house). Most of my housemates are taller than me, and the lip of the hood is below their eye level. Not so with me. Big gobs of rusty fat (from all that deep frying we do, apparentely) drooled from the fan (I won't even go there) like greasy stagtites.

The artist will start laying down darker lines, showing the contour of the object. She will pay special attention to the negative space and the proportions.

This is where we cook our food. This horror needed to be documented. I set up my studio lamp and laid on the floor to get a clear shot of it. I had a few extra hours, so I got the bucket, gloves, scouring pad and the Comet. You really can't tell that I did anything. The stuff was beyond the power of Comet.

After the contours of the object are established, she will start laying down tones, to indicate the direction and quality of light.

While I was at it, I pulled out the vacuum cleaner and did the hall (and the mouldings, cobwebs, the heater intake and corners).

She will work on it until it is finished. The idea of "finished" is pretty nebulous and personal. Once the artist is content with it, her roving eye will fix on something else and the process will begin anew. This phenomena is called the creative bounce.

I swept, of course. I remembered that I hadn't rinsed the heater filter since the spring. So I disassembled the heater shrouding and retrieved the filter. Presently, the little bugger is sunning itself in the back yard. Ah, there are so many more worlds to conquer, but, my dear, that will have to wait for the morrow.

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