A happy little accident

Was looking at some snapshots of a friend’s rally car in a race. The action shots were engaging, as the little yellow car blurred past alpine forests, and took dusty corners sideways. But the image of the car resting on its roof after rolling end over end, now that, that was striking. No one injured … except the car, it was buggered.

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”

Vanitas and bowling

As with so many of us, I enjoy flicking back through old X-Rays to marvel at how much my bones have changed over the years. I was looking at a full frontal of my skull and I was struck by how much it resembled a bowling ball. Thus this picture.

I could pretend I was making an important philosophical point, but I was not. I just thought how much my head looked like a bowling ball, and how much I like shiny metal flake bowling balls. That is it.

“Strikes and gutters. Ups and downs.” The Big Lebowski.

Tengu and the acceptance of ambiguity

“Sometimes they are good, and sometimes bad. Why do you find that so difficult to understand?”

Like so many things that live in the mountains, Tengu tend to the mysterious and misty. You often see masks of them in the dusty vestibules of provincial inns, hanging next to a fifty year old square Seiko clock, where they are expected to deliver luck and prosperity. I am told Tengu also used to entrance Buddhist priests, tie them to the tops of trees, and beguile them into eating dung disguised as food. So there is a mixed CV.

I naively asked a Japanese friend whether Tengu were good or bad. It seems I asked the wrong question. As with all of us, sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad.

This is a Tengu that hangs near my easel, lit from behind by a fading spring sunset.

Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But at the moment, a tad cranky.

A good art instructor told me not to be impatient, and to do an underdrawing in diluted burnt sienna. It works: even though you cannot see the underpainting, it seems to add a depth to the finished image. How does it do this? How should I know?