12 April 2016

Interrupted Art

For the moment, I've taken over the dining room. The extra leaves are in the table making it a long oval. Most of the tablecloth is hidden by a large canvas drop cloth with lines of paint and stains marking the outlines of past projects. Pads of drawing and watercolor paper, paints, brushes, my tackle box of supplies are strewn across it.

I'd torn out a page of watercolor paper from its spiral bound pad and was experimenting with spiraling curves of Prussian blue. My thinking was to create a nuanced blue background, but what's in my head and what I paint don't often align. However, painting is a medium that lets me go with the flow more since you can't just erase and try gain.

I added a little more water to the watercolor paint and tried another brushstroke. Aha! I'd found the consistency that created smoothly flowing, slightly transparent but still vibrantly colored strokes.


The sound came from outside towards the driveway. Damn, that sounded like one of the trash cans falling over. I'd rolled them down to the curb about half an hour earlier.

I set my brush still covered with Prussian blue on my palette and went to investigate.

It was quite dim, the waning minutes of twilight. One of the large blue plastic containers was on its side and a black bear was tearing through the garbage.


It's too dark, I thought to myself but went to get my camera anyway. BearWatch 2016 is a success!

The bear was still there when I got back and then I proceeded to make a bunch of rookie mistakes: rotating the mode dial in the opposite direction I needed (the lights were off so I could see out), shooting flash into a window (the bear was unphased). I tried shooting some video since that usually does better when the light is low, but it was too dark even for that.

I went to the garage to see if I'd have better luck. Not really. Looking down the short hill of the driveway, I got a much better sense of just how big the bear was. HUGE.

Seeing him scatter the garbage across the driveway had crossed the threshold of bear excitement to annoyance and slight terror as I pondered what to do.

I tapped on the glass hoping the sound would urge him to move along. Nothing. I tapped again.

This would be a good time to point out that that was probably not the best course of action. Garage doors aren't that strong and certainly not enough to keep a bear out if it wanted in.

Fortunately, the bear started going up the street. I ran upstairs and looked out but couldn't find it.

I still had to go outside to clean up the mess, but I wasn't sure where the bear was or if there were more.

I retrieved my badass 4 D-cell maglite to scan the yard before going out. The coast seemed clear, but I went out the side garage door just in case.

As I walked around to the driveway, I triggered the security light and all seemed well. I went back in and opened the garage door. I set my flashlight down, put on my work gloves and tossed the garbage back into the overturned can as fast as I could. I rolled it back into the garage and brought the recycling back as well for good measure even though the bear had left it alone.

I closed the garage door and exhaled.

Slightly more terror than I prefer with my bear sightings, but still, BEAR!

10 years ago on TTaT: Goofy, but fun

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