Thursday, March 06, 2008

I am so good at art.

What a beautiful snow day that was yesterday, and I would have loved it even more had I known that we do not have to make it up at the end of the year. I sat around, had some mediocre coffee that I had roasted in my basement the night before and then made a really hard test for my Comp class and then made it a lot easier. And then, like most people, wasted time on the internet. I watched the mail-man pass right by the house because I didn't shovel our front walk. And the prospect of a day with no mail bummed me out, so I drew pictures for awhile.
I don't really draw, but last weekend my friend Clare showed me these "blind contour drawings" she'd done, and it made me want to try. I'd never heard of it before, but what you do is not look at the paper as you're drawing, and you don't lift the pencil, either. You can peek to see where the pencil is, but you can't move it while you're looking. I first attempted those two heroes of modernism William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. I like Carlos the best, though he looks a little like Tintin with glasses instead of Snowy the dog. Wallace Stevens is a little bit of a disappointment, but not nearly as bad as James Wright.

It's funny. I wanted the Wright one to be the best, so it's like the left side of my brain, or whichever side is the one that can't draw, tried to control things too much. Pretty scary, but that's part of what's so cool about blind contour drawing: when they turn out ugly, you can say "hey, I wasn't even looking when I drew it, so shut your face." I haven't had to say that to anyone yet, but I will if I have to.

In other disastrous news, I made the mistake of listening to Terry Gross today, who somehow managed, in the first three minutes of her interview with David Simon, producer of the incredible show The Wire, to let out at least three major spoilers about season five. We just finished watching season four last night and were planning on waiting until the DVD's came out to watch 5, but now Terri has taken much of the fun out of it. After the first two major plot things slipped out of her mouth, I started running to the radio to turn it off, but not before she told me that XXXX XX XXXXXX XX XXX XXXX [redacted]. I couldn't believe it. Thanks, Terry. I always liked Diane Rehm better, and this just confirms it.

14 comments:

Whiskey said...

That's a great idea, I can't wait to try this blind contour drawing.

LetsGoThrow said...

Shut your face! Diane Rehm is the worst.

sarahjane said...

Is it really fair to be mad at Terry? She can't take everyone and their "still catching up on DVD" mumbo jumbo into consideration. We're watching them week-to-week, and season 5 is not that bad--not the greatest, but not that bad. "Shut your face" is pretty stupendous though. And did I hear you got dissed by your postman? Ouch. It was probably just bills anyway.

nathan_fisher said...

That's better than I can draw with my eyes open, to be honest.

This "blind contour drawing" thing is all the rage these days. On Facebook (omg!) there's a new group called "The Blind Cat Contest" or something, and everyone submits pictures they drew of cats with their eyes closed.

It's been up for like a week and there's around 1600 pictures.

Yours are good though.

Mr. Hill said...

1. Diane Rehm is the best interviewer on NPR by about a million miles, or however you measure such things.

And I can't believe you write her off because of her voice. How shallow. She has a medical condition, you know.

2. It is not "mumbo jumbo"; it is called "deferred gratification," and Terry Gross, that middle-brow sycophant, just robbed me of it.

3. Thank you for saying my pictures are nice, Nathan.

LetsGoThrow said...

1. Diane Rehm has questions like, "You just discovered the cure for cancer and are now in the running for the Nobel Prize. What is it about marshmallows that makes them so fluffy?" Well, Diane they aren't as fluffy as your questions but...

2. If I got into a horrible accident and lost my tongue, maybe the best job for me wouldn't be as a food critic on Iron Chef. I'm just saying...

Mr. Hill said...

OMG, Terry Gross is the queen of fluff. She likes everything and everybody. Diane actually takes people to task--she has the temerity to counter her guests' positions with questions that I wish I were smart enough to come up with.

And her medical condition arose *after* she became a world champion radio host and only makes her voice an acquired taste, like putting chocolate frosting on your toast as a poor-man's Nutella, which is my new invention.

sarahjane said...

I think it's fair to say that Terry and Diane like everyone except Republicans and Christians. And I love that you're fighting over NPR talk show hosts. Though, J has a point about the Iron Chef thing.

Mr. Hill said...

That's interesting . . I'd never noticed an anti-Christian bias on their shows. Maybe in some of their guests.

It's not really fair comparing the two shows, really, since Rehm's is about thoughtful political analysis and Fresh Air consists mainly of puff pieces designed to make NPR listeners feel better about their guilty but pleasurable consumption of pop culture.

LetsGoThrow said...

Maybe I'm just jealous. Chicago NPR doesn't have Diane Rehm in their rotation. We're stuck with Re:Sound, This American Life, Studio 360, and other such schlock. I remember falling asleep at my desk at South Side whenever Diane would come on during that massive 2 hour break (plan period) I had everyday.

Good times, thanks Diane.

Mr. Hill said...

Oh yeah, the two hour break. I miss that. Lunch at Coahuila. I don't get there nearly as much as I used to.

Hmmm? said...

Wow, the drawings you created with your eyes closed are even better than the drawings I make with my eyes open. If I remember correctly, you totally dissed on my stick figure drawing of my creative writing character.

Mr. Hill said...

Yeah, that was one terrible stick figure, if I remember right.

Hmmm? said...

You said you liked the smile!! Unless that was sarcasm. Yeah...nevermind. I'm pretty sure it was. Well, my book is going to turn out fantastic. I bought a new journal for it and everything. (With a gift card.)