7. wear a flower in your hair
I paint flowers so they will not die. ― Frida Kahlo
Katerina is this young woman's name. She was born of a tired brain in the early hours of a Saturday morning because I seem constitutionally unable to put down a pen or pencil once I have picked one up, however drastically, shockingly, unhealthily, late the hour has become. I only meant to lay down a couple of watercolour splodges to dry while I slept, so they would be all ready to go in the morning. And then just sketch her face, maybe, so I can see how it will look, and then no harm in adding her body, that'll just take a minute, and then, look, the watercolour is dry enough to work around, and, oh my goodness what is going on with that hair, do you even know what you are doing, that looks nothing like the picture that inspired you, arrrrghh, add in some leaves and a bird, bugger, wrecked that! Now colour, more colour, bit more colour, and fill those splodges in with a rose outline or the whole thing will look silly. Just a bit more colour and ... oh my God it's 4am.
But she was worth the lost sleep. She is, I think, representative of my favourite Muse. An impatient, beautiful, wild, and abundantly floral Muse. In any case I love her. I love her so much that I have used her likeness multiple times on every piece of internet space I frequent, and then redecorated my very own blog around her. Even though I only just did that a couple of months ago. She demanded it. I didn't argue. I didn't mind.
I don't mind saying I love her either, even though I drew her. She feels like something other than me, something that existed before, and will exist long after, I ever took pen to paper.
I wasn't consciously thinking of today's challenge as I drew her, though I already knew of it. I've taken to picking the challenge from the challenge jar early because 1) it gives me time to think and get supplies and 2) I am compelled to OCD levels of extremity to open things early. It kills me to have knowledge available that I can't access. That someone else has, but won't make available to me. My husband once hid my birthday present in our roof space and found my frantic failed searches hilariously funny. I did not. He still does. I still do not.
My rose bushes, they love to make flowers. Even now, neglected, in the middle of winter, covered in both rosehips and black spot, they still flash a pretty petal or two whenever they can manage it. Bless them.
I have been watching some YouTube videos on making fabric roses, a fascinating way to pass a day, and they all, without fail, got something quite wrong about roses. Roses are not perfect. Their petals are not symmetrical, not when they are in bloom. Wind, rain, insects, and good old Father Time, take care of that. Look at those petals on my dying lovely above. They're a crazy mix of sizes and shapes. That's what makes blooming roses so lushly, insanely, beautiful, their very abundant asymmetry. Treat them as a stack of cloned templates and you'll only get a highly stylised replica, recognisable but lacking any emotional resonance. A shadow of the real, of the individually unique, rose. Maybe that's exactly what you want. Good luck to you, I pray you live long and prosper. But it's really not exactly what I want.
LIFE METAPHOR ALERT.
I wonder why I thought I might like to wear a flower in my hair? I think perhaps I was having a Frida moment, or wanting to have a Frida moment, because that woman was about as far away as you can get from my staid blobby bland persona of a self. I never have had, and never will have, the charisma of a Frida. But I could have the flowers of one?
Probably not. Probably without the cultural and historical context in which that charisma resided, I will merely look like a frowsy hausfrau trying, unsuccessfully, to add some longed for glamour into her dull day. Mutton dressed as bouquet. The original impetus behind it all, more likely, was something of a social challenge: I am so terrified of judgement I thought it might do me good to provoke some intentionally, and then weather it, get over it. Even if only in my own head.
Blurgle, gurgle, perg.
But I'm just so sick of that frowsy hausfrau persona. I mean, bless her, but I do find her so very embarrassing.
Having dissed the template wielding YouTubers, I had to put my theory to the test. Random piles of that organza type ribbon were cut, and hacked into vaguely petal shaped objects. Some were rounder, some squarer, some kind of weird curvy oops.
You create the curl by holding the roughly hacked pieces over a flame, preferably not a house on fire, a nice atmospheric candle will do. I used pliers to hold them over said flame, because I am a menace with hot objects and burn myself consistently a lot. When you have finished your pile, you arrange them in a flower-like manner, as pleases you. You have freedom of will in this matter. And then just sew a few stitches through all the layers to hold it together. It was so quick, maybe 20 minutes, with 10 of those looking for a needle because my organisation of any and all art or craft material can best be described as unstable-chaotic. You have to wonder how I get through an entire day without adult supervision.
I was right though, about how good random mess would look, was I not? Eilidh says I earned 10 points for Gryffindor, which is confusing, because my house is Hufflepuff.
Pretty lady. I'm trying to sneak her in here quietly, because I think she's lovely and it seemed rude not to.
I hot glue gunned some crystals beads into the middle, because they looked the best. I kind of hesitated - you're going to use those, for that - but anything else would have been making do, rather than being proud of.
LIFE METAPHOR ALERT.
And yes, I did put it in my hair. I'm wearing it now. Didn't have to go out much today, but all the peeps looking in my van window as I drove to pick Nathan up from the bus station would have been totally impressed.
When outtakes become best takes. Stay classy, Megan.