February 22, 2013

how a painting is born: or love and friendship and modest mouse

backstory part one:

my best friend and i use the term wife to refer to one another and not just because it's hip to pretend to be gay or because we take equal rights seriously and labels lightly but because the only other way to describe our relationship would be to say that we are soul-sisters, that we have travelled this world before and that our paths always intersect. but "wife" seems easier and we don't ask anyone to understand.

i got a real letter from her in the mail at the beginning of the month. it prompted some ideas to spring forth and a painting was born, inspired by emily and the worlds and roads we've travelled, both together and apart.

i'd come across something i'd written down this fall and it became the perfect complement to the piece. i also decided one day to find my flower press. i'd dried and pressed flowers in it, a decade or so ago. most of them were crumbled and worthless but four or five looked like fairy wings so i set them aside. not long after i started this painting, i knew what purpose they'd serve.

backstory part two:

i love modest mouse. like. in a stupid way. i like a lot of music but i only have a few favorites because i have this habit of listening to the same small rotation of things for years at a time. for instance, when tori amos would release a new album i often couldn't listen to it because i was still playing her last two or three albums over and over again. tool has been known as my favorite band and let's just say i'm glad they haven't been more prolific. six albums in twenty-two years is plenty. i'd be okay even if they never made another album (though i hear they are).

anyway, shortly after i started dating my husband he lent me a matador records compilation disc and "heart cooks brain" by modest mouse was on it. i'd never heard them before but i fell in a sort of love that's had a hold on me for nearly ten years. my playlists have included them ever since and they're always on when i'm in the studio, whether on pandora or my ipod. naturally my first art video would have to be accompanied by a modest mouse song, though you may spy a band of horses lyric for a second. you'll also spy my wine glass, my head, and my purple socks. this video isn't perfect but i wanted to share a glimpse into the process, then i felt i couldn't do that without providing a smidgen of backstory and really, *this* was just a smidgen.

incidentally, i bought a single concert ticket this morning. i'm going to see modest mouse for the first time and it involves a road trip and some time to myself and an old theater which is quite similar to my favorite old theaters in my own town.

i want my bestfriend to make this trip with me as much as i could want a thing but i also know that we have our own wings to spread in our own ways and our journeys may take different paths between now and then. i find more comfort in acceptance and openness to possibility than rigid expectations, these days, anyhow.


and we've reached the point where i don't know what else to say so here's my first video: a few weeks of studio time condensed into 8-ish minutes. i hope you enjoy it :)

how a painting is born from valeri blossom on Vimeo.
song: the stars are projectors by modest mouse.


thanks you for making a connection. all comments and feedback are like little sprinkles of starshine!

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