Friday, September 22, 2006
Art Interview/Painting of the Week 7
The last two weeks have been spring like weather her in OK. The bad news is that my allergies have gone haywire. I can go from a fairly normal person one minute to a sneezing, honking, itchy-eyed maniac the next. I have been taking Sudafed by day and Drixoral by night. Sudafed is a non-drowsy drug. The good news is that it is also an appetite suppressant (as if I could eat with all the sneezing). The bad news is that after taking drugs, my mouth is so dry that I lick my lips until they are chapped. The Drixoral usually knocks me out at night so that at least I can sleep, although I cannot breathe. It is the weird dreams that make the sleep not so restful. There’s a Kleenex box on every tabletop in my home. The really, really bad news is that Jesse has the same allergies and problems. The two of us are almost comical with our sneezing attacks. Between the two of us, I need to buy more Kleenex, Sudafed, and Drixoral. That means another police-like scrutiny by the pharmacist. Pray for me.
While cleaning my house for the Duncan Banner reporter, I stirred up plenty of dust. My allergies were not too bad – maybe because it was raining and the wind was calm. After getting the house looking pretty good, I went to work on myself. I usually wear jeans and an old T-shirt during art. I have messed up many a nice shirt with stray paint blobs. I did put on some make-up to cover my red nose. I tried to find some eye make up that would not bring out the red of my eyes. I stuck my hair up in a twisted knot trying to look a little more professional, but this interview was not suppose to be about me – only my students is what I was told. As my students and I sat down to art, my eye started itching. I absently rubbed at it – big mistake. It just got worse. It swelled almost shut. What eyeball you could see was a nice Alizarin red. About that time, the reporter and a lady from the art guild showed up.
The reporter was introduced as Jane. I am not sure what I expected in a reporter, but she was not it. "Plane Jane" would have fit her perfectly. She was a large woman dressed in unfashionable clothes. Her hair was rather thin and simple. I think it was dyed an odd color or maybe it needed to be dyed an odd color. Her shoes were those simple black pumps that old ladies wear. It was her feet that held my attention. She had "Minnie Mouse" feet – you know – where the foot is large and squished into a shoe that looks too small, yet the overall effect is that of big feet. I could not really tell you what her face looked like - I am a shoe person. "Plane Jane" also fit her personality. She was dull, and dry. Her interview questions were made in a non-interested monotone. The questions themselves were dull as dirt. In fact, they were so dull, that I kept interjecting more interesting information about the students. She asked one student quite a few questions scribbling notes as she went. She hardly asked Ashley, the other student, anything at all. Not to be left out, Ashely asked Jane, "Don’t you want to know the names of my paintings, too?" This was not going well. Sarah, one of my older girls, tried to keep the conversation flowing. Sarah is bubbly, beautiful, and an excellent artist – Jane ignored her completely.
After a few questions toward the girls, she turned to me and started asking questions. Wait a minute! This is not supposed to be about me. Both ladies said they had discussed it, and thought they would go ahead and interview me for a later "artist of the month" story. Why didn’t I see that coming? After the usual name, rank, and serial number type questions, she asked what else I like to do. I said, "Well, I blog." No response. I added, "I have a blogsite where I write." I got the blank look, and she said, "What else?" Okay, maybe she doesn’t get blogging. I moved on and told her about Soldiers Angels. She liked that. I showed her my pastel of Michael Yon that I had done because some blogger buddies had asked me to draw him. She liked Michael (who wouldn’t?). I even mentioned my Painting of the Week, but she was not interested or had no idea what I was talking about.
Next, she pulled out the camera and took pictures of everyone, except for Sarah. The girls were cute as always. My hair was coming out of the knot, I had rubbed all of the eye-makeup off of one eye, it was swollen shut, my nose was red and puffy, I had a red mustache from licking my lips (Frito Bandito style), and I was wearing a faded T-shirt, but Jane said I looked very "artsy." She took pictures of my artwork and the girl’s artwork. At Sarah’s suggestion Jane went into Jesse’s room to see her artwork. She liked that and said that maybe she would interview Jesse sometime.
When the two ladies finally left, my art girls and I burst out laughing. We teased Ashley about not getting very many questions. We teased Sarah about being ignored all together. We teased Natalie because she asked to be left out, but was included in a picture anyway. We laughed because the lady wanted to interview Jesse, who wasn’t even there. They teased me because Jane had ignored my blogging hobby. We were still laughing when Toby came home.
A final note: As Jane was leaving she noticed how the girls were laughing, teasing, and encouraging each other. Jane said, "They seem to be having so much fun, I think I want to stay." I have that kind of fun every Thursday although Jane brought us some extra laughs this week.