Friday, March 30, 2007
Who Stole My Head?
I was at an arts education workshop today that was held at a wooded park. One of our assignments was to go out into the woods and pick up some "natural things" and to find words to describe our feelings as we were out in "nature."
I talk to plants
No one needed to ask me twice. It took me about a half-second to find a stately eucalyptus and strike up a conversation. While it was a bit one-sided, the euk was warm and somewhat shy, but she pointed out that I was among a lot of young poison oak and mashing some mushrooms. I poked around her trunk and found a lot of last fall's leaves and buttons, turned up a young bay tree and discovered that the poison oak is blooming right now (the most exquisite, tiny, five-pointed white flowers-- I wonder what bug it depends on to fertilize it?).
Some Twigs and a Pound of Clay
After we returned with our leafy booty, we were instructed to make a clay head and "decorate" it. It was fascinating to see what the others collected. Some people only gathered flowers, and others just had a few leaves, still others found things I didn't even notice-- pods, bundles of pollen puffs, fuzz and twigs. I was pleased with my green woman, she had big boobs, full lips and an elaborate headdress. Then we got to draw them.
Gone Gone Gone
The class displayed the heads on a table for the remainder of the conference. I felt as proud as a little kid with her art on the fridge. When I was done schmoozing at the end, I swung by the table to pick her up. I was planning on taking her home, setting her on the sill and tossing her after a few days when she wilted. I was dismayed to find her gone from the table before I got there. I checked the garbage cans. I interrogated witnesses. No one had seen anything. Even the drawing with my name on it was gone.
Theft: the Sincerest Form of Flattery
I can now confidently write on my CV that my work is in "unknown private collections." There was one head left on the table, so its possible that someone accidentally took the wrong one home. I find that hard to believe, since they were all completely unique and labeled. I have lost plenty of kid's art over the years, and now I know how it feels, and I am more perplexed than devastated.