As a tattooed person, I normally avoid the sun whenever possible. Leave a piece of colored paper on your dashboard for three days and flip it over to see the color difference and you'll know the reason why. When I was young I used to lay out in the sun, we all did. Being tan and checking your tan line to see how far along you had come that day was the activity of the summer. I don't remember the sun making me feel sick or drained, we used to do that all day then go out and party all night. Then again, that was when we were young and immortal.
Yesterday my girls and I were out in the direct sun for several hours working on our project for the La Strada street art festival. It was large in scope and we were out there on the blacktop for hours. I used 50 SPF sunscreen like it was frosting, I didn't even really rub it in, just glopped it on and spread it around. I did this twice over the course of the event. I also wore a big hat, quite fetching may I add, if you're a migrant farm-worker or an older lady who enjoys gardening. We had our team T shirts, bandanas and knee pads, and a vicious need to "win" if such a thing were possible.
I have never worked in chalk before. It's an interesting medium. If you touch it it wipes off. You can blend color, but even a tentative little finger-pat will lighten the color. I am used to
applying color that no amount of wiping will change, and this is ephemeral and fickle. I discovered my ability to work with either hand or both hands at the same time, I'd forgotten that I can do this, although I would never try it with a tattoo machine.
I don't know that blacktop reflects sunlight, I want to think that black plus tar would just soak it up. Sitting on it, even on a folded towel is an experience that made me feel like a piece of meat in that nifty three-way oven from the infomercial though. I got cooked. When I finally stood up after sitting there for so long my legs were noodlish and I spun around and landed right into the panel I had been working on. I believe I was on the verge of sun-stroke, but Scott saved my life with an umbrella. I still have a piece of art on the ass of my pants where I hit.
The art part, and the experience of being in direct sunlight for several hours are two separate experiences though. The first I enjoyed immensely, and the second, not so much. I feel sick from it today. Is that really possible? I only have a couple of patches of truly sunburned skin, it's not as if I have become the lobster that I wear on my shoulder. I can hardly move though, and this will be totally taking me out of my work-day, I'm not even going to try it.
As far as the art went, I had a blast. It was a fundraiser for a local high school, the kind of school I wish had existed when I was sentenced to high school myself. It's called New Technology High School, and all the curriculum is done on computer. It's one of (I think) eleven schools founded and supplied by Bill and Melinda Gates to see if a radically new way of learning in the kind of world that college graduates might actually inhabit would change the success statistics when compared to regular high schools. I didn't research any of that, but I remember hearing about it when it was a new school. My Big Daddy was kind enough to call me and point out a technical error in yesterday's blog, if any of that wasn't correct please feel free to comment this and clear it up for me.
All the pieces were up for auction to raise money for the school. Each had a starting bid of fifty
dollars, with a "buy now" price of two hundred and fifty. Our bid sheet was pulled by the school, along with one other piece and taken out of the bidding process. Apparently these two pieces will hang somewhere public for a while and be auctioned off at a separate event in the future, and for more money I'll guess. This feels very good, this feels like winning the internet.
I don't know where our triptych will hang or for how long, but if I see it out there I'll feel very proud that ours was deemed to be one of the best. Blair designed it, and I never did hear what the piece is named. She, Shayla and I each worked on our own panel, and then we all added a bit to the two other panels, so it was really a group effort. It's hard to spot, but the octopus has a Calico Eye, that should give you a clue which panel was the one I did. Personally, I think Blair's eel and Shayla's Woman Tree are the coolest parts, but as a whole the piece ROCKS.
Now I have to call and re-schedule three different people so I don't have to tattoo today, I just can't do it. I feel like over-boiled chicken, limp and tasteless. Oh well, life happens, even though people feel I should be available for their tattoos (especially if I have made a prior appointment for them) I sometimes simply can't do the work. Yesterday got all I had to give for a while.