Watching paint dry

It has come to my attention that things I find absorbing are the very same things that most people find, well, boring.  Not everyone, of course.  At least two artists of my acquaintance have put a fair amount of time into watching fruit dry.  Now that is not something that would spring to mind as inspirational, even to me. 

I was looking for a photo I took of Betty Beeby’s dried citrus peel construction but I can’t find it.  She ate a tangerine. The peel dried into an attractive curl and smelled good, too. One thing led to another and she decided to make a mobile from dried citrus peels arranged on a framework of chicken wire, just to study the shapes. A little insight into the creative mind. 

Now Birgitte, a Danish designer whose photography and collages enchant me, is studying dried apple slices.  She’s made two posts about it so far: Apple 2 and Apple.  That reminded me of dried apple dolls, which also enchant me. You can see some and learn how to make them at Apple Dolls.  Just in case you were wondering.  Which Birgitte was.

Today’s prompt: Spend a little time watching the remains of your snack dry, just to see what happens.  Surprises are good, as long as they smell nice. Things dry into shapes that remind a person of other things and the next thing you know the imagination is haring off into the underbrush.  Follow it!

If you are in a humid summery place, I regret to inform you that this prompt is not a good idea. Fruit peels will not dry so much as they will attract fruit flies. They will not smell good either.  Maybe you could fling the peels into the dryer with the thermal blanket and watch them spin.  Maybe not.

Write, paint, photograph, weave, carve . . . Create.

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5 Responses to Watching paint dry

  1. Giiid says:

    Thank you for the link, Gerry, – I had no idea about this blog! I am so excited about it, this will be fun to join. Actually I had a close look at a piece of leek this evening, (after having been cut ) – quite pretty. It reminded me about once I made paper with my son, out of leeks. We made one out of carrots too, but let´s go in details with this later on.

  2. Gerry says:

    I’m glad it looks like fun! It is meant to be playful, sometimes odd, never an assignment. But if you ever want to tell about making paper with carrots and leeks, well, I for one would like to hear about it! It sounds very useful, and adds a whole new dimension to The Dog Ate My Homework.

  3. Louan says:

    In my past I have actually watched paint dry. It is the unfortunate lot of the sign painter, to have to watch a certain amount of paint, as it changes from wet, to damp, to tacky, to sticky, to dry on the outside but not on the inside, till you finally get to the nearly dry stage, where you can touch it but you will leave a finger print. Then, the final stage occurs, when the paint loses its acrid stench and finally becomes dry. This is the cue to add the next color. It has its own sort of inspirational rhythm that makes me feel like a real artisan.

    • Gerry says:

      I knew there was something to it. I’m not just staring into space, I’m tapping into an inspirational rhythm! Sometimes I think sentences need to cure, too. Worked over prematurely they smear and turn into mush. We do not need to go into how I know this . . .

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