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Art for Amateurs

July 18, 2014

I have been so tired lately–just exhausted, but a good kind of exhausted. Preoccupation is a nice change from boredom, which was what I experienced pre-NYC trip (i.e. the first half of summer).

Since I got back from New York, I have been tutoring, reading, and writing. I’ve managed to read two books and written 21 pages (11-pt Baskerville) about a guy I met Friday night out in nyc. I’ve signed up for “French Impressionist Art” and have kept up with all of my readings, even duly taking notes. I’ve managed to have coffee with a few friends and even caught a comedic musical/play at the Fringe fest with VP and her family last week.

But now, I’ve realized that I barely have any time to myself to just… be. To just be.

Last week, I realized that I hadn’t yet spent even an hour this summer just sitting in my beloved garden, reading or writing or just daydreaming. What a shame it was! I was wasting away the summertime walking around town looking for perfect spots to perch myself when right behind my house is an oasis.

So today, I decided to spend the entire day at home. I was tired of doing so much walking around. I was tired of always having something to do.

I started the morning off at 8 a.m. finishing the book I had bought last Friday at BMV and started reading Monday night. In just three sittings, I had finished reading Michael Chabon’s, “Manhood for Amateurs.” Now I realize that the book’s title suggests that it is some kind of handbook for fathers/sons/bros, but more than anything, it’s a memoir about different stages in his life. When I picked up the book from the bargain bin for $2 and flipped it open to a random page, I was immediately hooked in with “‘Do these f–king things come with instruction books?’ I cried to my wife. ‘Oh my God, what if you die the day before she gets her period?'” Like I said, I read the entire 300 pages in three sittings. It was hilarious.

After I finished the book, I practiced some piano, following which I ate lunch while watching two episodes of “Orange is the New Black” on NetFlix. Around 1 p.m., I told myself it was time to go upstairs and get to writing. After all, I had only written about Friday night in nyc. I still had 6 more days to write about.

But instead, I walked down to the basement and dug out my dad’s painting toolkit, went upstairs and pulled my painter’s apron out of the closet, and went to the garage to find the foldable camping chair.

I spent the next three hours painting while listening to Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 (no. 1 and 2), Waltz Op. 69 no. 2, and Waltz in A minor (No. 19–my favourite), all of which I am currently learning to play.

I haven’t gotten very far with my art… and I still need to figure out a lot of things like getting the perfect colour mixture… but for now, I think it’s going very well. Oh how relaxing it is to sit in one’s own garden and to have nothing on one’s mind except which colours to mix to get the perfect golden yellow-orange shimmer of an asiatic lily.

Materials? Check!

Materials? Check!

Toolkit is essential.

Toolkit is essential.

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Colour mixology.

Colour mixology.

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This took me barely a few minutes to paint, and it is my favourite. What can I say? Simplicity is what I love.

This took me barely a few minutes to paint, and it is my favourite. What can I say? Simplicity is what I love.

But then again I also love the mess of this unintentional scrap piece of paper I used to wipe off excess colour.

But then again I also love the mess of this scrap piece of paper I used to wipe off excess colour. I especially love the gold blob in the bottom-middle. Doesn’t the yellow look like acrylic paint? It’s all water-colour, my friend.

My dad used to paint for a living. He made this one before he even KNEW me! Imagine that!

My dad used to paint for a living; he made this one before he even KNEW me! Imagine that! And now, it hangs above my desk. Maybe one day, one of my paintings will hang above my child’s desk.

Monet is actually my favourite, but van Gogh is a close... fifth.

Monet is actually my favourite, but van Gogh is a close… fifth.

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