June 12, 2013

The Last Ride, A New Journey

It sounds like a cowboy movie title.  This morning, I woke up the computer to check traffic conditions for the earlier-than-usual trip to the high school with my son.  My Facebook page was open and I saw a comment posted by my cousin whose son is graduating from high school today.  She was debating how much tissue she'd need, knowing she would be a sobbing mess, saying goodbye to the years of watching him grow up, watching him play baseball, and now moving on to real adulthood.  I shouldn't have looked at it.  I got in the car with Kevin, we started driving and I glanced over at him and told him, "Well, this is it.  This is the last morning drive to school together.  Ever."  He pointed out that we have graduation tomorrow, but that's not the same thing.  I tried really hard not to let him see my eyes well with tears or my chin quiver; the kids make fun of me for how easily I cry over things like that.  It hit me harder than I'd expected.  Trust me, I won't miss the miserable drive.  Yesterday, I experienced a 4 foot long piece of 2x4 lumber whirling like a helicopter blade toward my windshield on the freeway, both of us traveling at high speed, and managed to slam on the brakes without getting hit from behind so that it hit the lower front portion of my van and exploded into toothpicks instead of smashing into the windshield and killing me.  I can happily say goodbye to road hazards, fools that run red lights, and endless construction zones (I must have passed 1,942 orange cones today in roads that were made narrow and crowded due to road construction).  Life changed for me today.

Having time for art is going to be great.  That's what I keep telling myself.  This is what I've wanted for years, and now here it is.  Excited to dip my toes into the studio for a while and blow off laundry (OK, I did two loads at the same time since the machines are in the "studio"), I thought I'd give soldering another try.  I don't want to say it was a total flop, but BOY was it a total flop!  However, I will not be deterred!  After trying the solder that already had flux in it (what a mess), I tried the fatter solder and the flux paste.  Hmmm.  Was it supposed to need stirring?  There are no instructions about how much.  Did the copper tape wrap over the edges enough, or should I have used wider copper?  If I get flux on the glass beyond the edge of the copper tape, will the solder stick?  Clearly, THIS is what "self taught" means.  It means making messes, having absolutely no idea what I'm doing and just learning by trial and error.  If only I could get to the trial and "success!" part.  Here is today's debacle...

<- -="" and="" be="" front="" the="" this="" would=""> is the goofy back made from doodling with a pen and watercolor paints.  What a hot mess!  I think there was too much flux and I do believe I have proven that flux can be fried.

So before I set everything on fire with blobs of molten solder, I unplugged the iron and let it rest and cool.  (Of course, I'm totally paranoid and thought I smelled burning, but I think it's a neighbor grilling burgers - whew!)  This would be a good time to get out my old sketch book and look at old ideas and see if anything triggers a creative nudge.  I look at a long list of words on one page and realize I have absolutely no idea what I was thinking.  Really.  What was I thinking?  How bad an art journaler (is that a real word?) can I be if I don't know what the heck I was thinking?  I'll just make something up.  That's creativity!  Bahaha.  I think this was my brainstorm for an online class I signed up for with Susan Sorrell.  Good grief.

So tomorrow, I'm a full-time artist-wanna-be.

Mom When They Need Me, Time for Art at Last