Thursday, March 8, 2007

Calendar Series: 45th Month / Imaginary Brothers with Breaking Wave

Today is three months since I began posting on Old Girl From The North Country. I've posted approximately half of my 40 years of drawings and paintings. On or around June 8, I will have accomplished what I set out to do with this blog.

Today's post is one of my many double portraits. I was thinking about what it might mean to be a brother. I thought about Bob Dylan singing, "Let me walk down the highway with my brother in peace" in the song, "Let Me Die in My Footsteps," and the Dire Straits singing "Brothers in Arms"

Now for a little story about the last few days. This last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I attended a workshop. Last week I had gone to the Worker Retraining Office of the local community college, in hopes of finding some direction in terms of getting myself back into a paying job. Everyone I talked with was kind and helpful. It was suggested that I attend a free three-day Dependable Strengths workshop at the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, where a person's "dependable strengths" are discovered using a process of listing good experiences where you felt you did something well, you enjoyed doing it, and you feel proud of what you did. From there, you expand that information into a report that you are supposed to give to friends, relatives, strangers, associates, former employers, and anyone else you can think of. 

On the first day of the workshop, there was an exercise where we were asked to draw a picture of the first good experience we could remember. So, with pencil and paper, I drew this picture: My memory is of being around 4 years old, alone, sitting in front of a television set and learning to draw. The program was called "Chris Cuts," but I'm not sure how that was spelled. Just now I did some internet searching and was unable to come up with any information about that early television program, which might have been on KQED public television. 

What I remember was that there was a friendly man who showed me how to draw geometric shapes by having me put a piece of paper up on the TV screen and tracing the shapes. Then he encouraged me to try to copy the shape I had traced. 

When I was 5 years old I drew the following picture of a horse and was praised for my ability to draw. So, here I am today at 57 years old, trying to find a good job or a course of study that would lead to a good job that would allow me to support myself so that I can continue working as an artist. 

The assignment we were given on the last day of the workshop involved networking. We were told that if we used a scripted set of questions and responses and handed a copy of our report to friends, relatives, strangers, associates, former employers, and anyone else we could think of and did this for 40 days, we would most certainly find a job that we would enjoy doing. 

The problem is that a "job I would enjoy doing" requires that I go back to school, so what I decided to do instead is to do a drawing or painting every day for 40 days, and continue searching for course of study that would give me the skills to do a "job that I would enjoy doing."

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