Monday, April 20, 2009

Trevor's Shoes!

They were the last 7.5's I had. One day I just really felt like painting shoes...I texted Trevor and established that they'd fit. Then I went to town. They were ridiculously fun to paint and even more fun to give. His reaction was brilliant. One of my favourite pairs.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Muse

I think every artist has a muse, or perhaps several. Mine is in the form of a small furry little creature with a silly face and a sweet nature. Delirium (Named after the character from the Niel Gaiman Sandman Series) will be a year old in July, but in the short time I've been graced with her presence she has already given me what feels like limitless inspiration. Something about having a cat in my life has always given me so much to think about and write.

My first cat was Gummitch, who found me when I was one and who was like a fuzzy little sibling to me. She died a few summers ago. It was quite devastating for me, like having a cat shaped hole torn from my chest. I remember the grief I felt was unlike any I'd ever felt before and it was accompanied by the usual misinformed or naive comments from people who simply didn't understand that she was not just a pet. "When are you getting a new one, then?" "Is your family going to wait to replace her or go right away?"

Gummitch was no more replaceable than my brother would be had he died. So I waited to get another cat, knowing I could not fill the hole because Gummitch had been so much more than just a cat. She was a wise old woman who graced my life since childhood. She was my sister, my first best friend and the constant soft comfort I'd grown so accustomed to.

When it came time to find another cat that might choose me, I knew I was ready because I no longer felt quite so hollow when I thought of Gummitch. As Gummitch chose me, so did Delirium. Of the dozens of kittens I looked at in the four months prior to finding Delirium, she was the only one that purred. I scooped her up and she began this deep motor thrumming inside. I knew it was right, then and there, and within an hour I was driving home, with one of my best friends holding a cat carrier with this little creature inside.

Unlike Gummitch, Delirium feels more like a baby to me. Gummitch was my equal, Delirium is more my dependant. She sweet and silly and so very different from Gummitch, but so very right for me.

Today she ate a fly that was too big for her. I came outside to find her pacing and looking quite queasy. After a moment she threw up and there was the fly, lying in the little puddle, still buzzing a bit. This filled me with such love and joy...a sweet little kitten with eyes bigger than her stomach. I could just about burst at the thought and immediately I wanted to write it down. I've already begun a painting of her, one of many artistic interpretations that I'm sure will follow. As I filled a sketchbook with Gummitch, so I will fill one with Delirium. A sweet purring creature to sit upon my lap as I type, or to rest at my feet and play with paintbrushes as I sit before a canvas.

So I found my muse.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How To...

Step 1.
Bleach your hair! Get it as bleached as possible. The lighter the better.
Step 2.
Shampoo your head and towel it, but leave it mostly damp.

Step 3. Get all your colours together.

Step 4. Yellow first, then the green. Wash your hand/glove in between colours with cold water.

Step 5. Red! If you're worried about getting it on your skin just put Vaseline around your face.
Step 6. Orange!

Step 7. Purple!
Step 8. Blue!
Step 9. Leave it in for as long as you can stand. I never go less than five hours.
Step 10.
Wash your head with FREEZING water and conditioner only. This closes the hair follicles and traps the dye more securely.


"When did you fall in love with rainbows?"

I was fourteen. I'd just realized that you didn't have to be gay or could fall somewhere in between. Suddenly I was able to put a word to how I felt and suddenly, I just really wanted the world to know. I think it was subtle at first. Just necklaces and bracelets. Given that I hung out with a lot of raver types, people just thought it was a candy-kid thing.

The hair should be a dead give away, though. I've been dying my hair since I was fourteen too. The first time I did it blue. Blue has always been my favourite colour and when I asked my mum if I could she only asked if she'd have to pay. I old her no and she said I was free to do as I wished. I don't think she suspected it would go the way it did. I had blue hair for four years, almost constantly. There were the few times I'd start fresh by shaving my head, but as soon as there was enough to bleach there was enough to dye and I'd be blue again.

I'd always wanted to try and do a rainbow so for Pride one year I bought bingo dobbers in six colours. My hair was growing back in from the latest shaving so it was easy to draw the lines of colour on it. One of my best friends helped me with it and marched with me int he parade the next day. It was all right but it rained and the rain got my head wet which caused the bingo ink to run. It was neat, but just didn't work how I wanted it to. Unfourtunately, at $20 a tube, using the same colour as I used for the blue seemed impossibly expensive.

Eventually I saved up and sucked it up and went for a properly dyed rainbow. I bought the dye progressively over a few months so the cost wouldn't hurt so much. Then I just went for it! My first Pride with rainbow hair, with the Bingo Dobbers, I was seventeen. At eighteen I did it properly and now every year, when the first day of spring has just passed, I prepare my canvas. I get my hair bleached professionally but I do the colour myself. I use a three section mirror and my own sense of touch to get the lines right. This is my seventh year of rainbow hair and my tenth year of coming out. I've managed to get my hair the dykiest it's ever been (A rainbow fauxhawk with a rattail? How much gayer is there?) and while it will be ticking me off in about two months because maintenance is so hard, I'm loving it right now. Right now it's my favourite most renewable canvas. It's my declaration of my spirit and my passion for colour and artwork. It's my imagination. It's my creativity.

It's just something I'm in love with.